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Lincoln man charged after alleged wrong-way drive

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- Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo
Benjamin Michael Lineberger, 22, of Denver, was arrested by sheriff’s deputies in Lincoln County early Sunday after allegedly driving the wrong way on N.C. 16. (Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office photo.)

A Lincoln County man faces several charges after he allegedly drove the wrong way early Sunday on N.C. 16 in the eastern part of the county.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says Benjamin Michael Lineberger, 22, was arrested after a deputy said the suspect was driving southbound in the northbound lanes.

No other drivers were injured, authorities said.

The series of events began about 1:30 a.m., when Lincoln County Emergency Communications received a 911 call from the public, saying someone was driving the wrong way on N.C. 16 between N.C. 150 and N.C. 73.

Deputy James Little said he spotted the car going the wrong way and began a pursuit, with his siren and blue lights flashing. Little said he was finally able to stop the driver about a half-mile later, near the St. James Church Road intersection.

Little said he noticed a smell of alcohol when the driver got out of the car.

Investigators say the suspect’s car had heavy front-end damage and a bent steering wheel, and they say Lineberger was bleeding from his mouth and nose. But after checking with nearby law enforcement agencies, Lincoln County authorities were not able to find any reports of a collision.

Deputies say Lineberger originally gave them a fictitious name before changing his story. Lineberger, of Denver, was charged with DWI, driving while license revoked, false information to a police officer, failure to stop for a blue light or siren, careless and reckless driving, wrong way on a dual lane highway, and expired registration.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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