Garry Bjorklund, a Minnesota Olympic running standout who won the first Grandma’s Marathon in 1977, was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving after being involved in a wrong-way crash in Eden Prairie on Monday night.
According to a search warrant affidavit filed Tuesday in Hennepin District Court requesting Bjorklund’s blood for testing, the incident occurred at about 6 p.m. in front of the Green Acres Event Center in the 14000 block of Pioneer Trail.
Bjorklund, 71, of Fort Collins, Colo., was driving west along Pioneer Trail in his 2016 Ford Explorer when his vehicle veered into the eastbound lane, striking another vehicle head-on, the search affidavit filing stated.
The filing noted that a preliminary breath test administered at the scene showed that Bjorklund’s blood alcohol content was 0.26%. That is more than three times the legal limit for driving in Minnesota.
Bjorklund was ticketed for fourth-degree DWI (alcohol), a misdemeanor, and for operating a vehicle carelessly on a street or highway, according to an Eden Prairie Police report.
He has yet to be formally charged. An Eden Prairie Police spokesperson stated that the department expects Hennepin County to make a charging decision soon.
According to the filing, the responding officer stated that Bjorklund could not keep his balance and fell to the ground. While helping Bjorklund, the officer could smell the odor of alcohol coming from him.
The officer stated in the filing that Bjorklund was unaware of where he was and repeatedly said that he was not drunk. He was transported to M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina, where police took his blood sample for further testing.
A police spokesperson said Wednesday that no one was injured in the crash. The spokesperson added that no additional information could be released as the investigation is active and considered confidential.
Besides winning the Grandma’s Marathon twice (he also won in 1981), Bjorklund, a Duluth native, represented the United States in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, placing 13th in the 10,000-meters.
He is the namesake of the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. It was created in 1991 to recognize Bjorklund’s lifelong contributions to running throughout the area and state of Minnesota.