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DUNN COUNTY — Two semi-truck drivers are credited with stopping a wrong-way driver on state Highway 29 before a serious accident occurred.
According to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd, on Friday, March 29, at approximately 2:20 a.m., the Dunn County Communications Center received a report of a wrong-way driver on Highway 29 traveling westbound in the eastbound lane from County Highway T in Chippewa County.
Dunn County deputies responded to intercept the vehicle at the Dunn and Chippewa County line.
While the deputies were on their way, they received word that the callers had been able to stop the vehicle in Dunn County near the Chippewa County line and had been able to take the car keys from the driver.
The callers, Brett J. Bauer and Scott W. Denis of Minnesota, told deputies they had watched the vehicle leave 29 Pines at County Highway T and Highway 29 and begin traveling westbound in the eastbound lane of Highway 29.
Bauer and Denis called 911 and then began following the vehicle in their semi, flashing their lights to warn other traffic and attempting to get the vehicle to stop.
When the vehicle finally stopped, they were able to take the keys out of the vehicle before law enforcement arrived, according to the news release.
Megan L. Bergeson, 21, of Eau Claire, was identified as the driver of the vehicle.
When deputies spoke to Bergeson, it appeared as though she were under the influence of alcohol. She said she was trying to get home but could not tell the deputy where she lived and also could not say where she had been drinking.
Bergeson was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence first offense and for driving the wrong way on a divided highway. She was transported to Mayo Menomonie for a blood draw and was then booked into the Dunn County jail.
“The Sheriff’s Office would like to commend Brett and Scott for their selfless actions which most likely prevented this situation from having a tragic conclusion,” Sheriff Bygd wrote in the news release.
The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department posted the news release on the department’s Facebook page, and one commenter said that while he was glad the situation had worked out for the best, he was under the impression that the advice is to stay away from the vehicle and to report it.
The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department replied, “We do advise the public not to endanger themselves and report and be a good witness. Fortunately their actions resulted in a positive outcome!”
Other commenters said they have seen wrong-way drivers on Highway 29 a number of times.
One person noted that an Illinois State Patrol office had recently lost his life trying to protect the public from a wrong-way driver.
Bergeson is scheduled for an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court on May 1.