Silver Bay man dies in accident at Highway 61 intersectionAn intersection on Minnesota Highway 61 claimed another life Monday night.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
An intersection on Minnesota Highway 61 claimed another life Monday night.
Greg Kellerman, 40, of Silver Bay, was killed after he was driving toward Lake Superior on Lake County Road 3 when he crossed Highway 61 and struck a tree, the Minnesota State Patrol reported.
The accident was called in at 11 p.m. during a rainfall, the patrol reported.
The intersection has been the site of numerous accidents in recent years. In April 2011, a woman traveling on Highway 3 also crossed into the same woods. She and her dog were found dead in her pickup in Lake Superior.
After that accident, Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson said past accidents at the “T” intersection of County Road 3 and Highway 61 just north of Betty’s Pies have slowly taken out trees in the woods off the intersection, which eventually allowed the woman’s truck to go through to the lake.
Johnson had said past accidents involving drivers crossing Highway 61 off County Road 3 have been due to brake failure, inattentive driving, falling asleep, weather conditions, or intoxication.
Johnson said in 2011 that he sent e-mails to various state and local officials to initiate a discussion about ways to make the intersection safer.
“That’s a bad intersection for us,” he said at the time. “We’ve had our fair share of accidents there and we need to look at it again.”
Johnson mentioned guard rails, flashing signs, and rumble strips as some of the options.
“I think there’s a lot more we can do with it,” he said.
The intersection was moved to its current location some years ago and widened due to safety concerns. Johnson said that before the change, it had been harder to distinguish the Highway 61 intersection as drivers went down the hill from Highway 3 and to a slight rise and curve to the south.