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Menahga man arrested for drunk driving hit speeds of 178 mph

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

A Menahga, Minn., man was arrested for driving drunk and for driving a reported 178 mph on a Wadena County road in July, according to court documents.

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Authorities say Michael James Johnson was observed speeding in a red 2009 Chevrolet Corvette about 9:30 p.m. July 9 by a Wadena County sheriff's deputy and two Menahga police officers, all of whom pursued Johnson.

Sheriff's Deputy Luke Manderschied said Johnson was stopped when he had to slow down because of a vehicle ahead of him and a stop sign.

According to court documents, when Manderschied approached the vehicle and asked Johnson what the "big hurry" was, Johnson replied that he was just having fun. Johnson reportedly told the deputy he couldn't "imagine" how fast he was driving.

Johnson also told the sheriff's deputy he and a passenger were coming from a club.

Court records state Johnson failed two of three field sobriety tests and took a breath test which registered .115. After taking Johnson to jail, the passenger in Johnson's vehicle admitted to the tow truck driver that they were traveling 178 miles per hour.

Johnson was charged with fourth-degree DWI and careless driving, and a pre-trial hearing was set for Aug. 30 in Wadena County District Court.

Johnson did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Steve Schulz is a reporter at the Wadena (Minn.) Pioneer Journal, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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