COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A man with ties to former state Sen. R.C. Soles was part of a wild ride over the weekend. The driver now faces numerous charges after leading troopers on a chase.
Around 1 a.m. Highway Patrol was doing a license check off Highways 130 and 905. That’s when troopers say Crystal Gail Lee slowed down and then took off.
Officers chased Lee and B.J. Wright, known for his multiple run-ins with former state Sen. R.C Soles.
After heading north on NC 130 Lee turned right on Pleasant Plains Church Road. Troopers were able to get her to stop soon after, but when they got out to approach the vehicle, they say Lee swerved toward an officer and took off again. The trooper was able to get out of the way.
According to Highway Patrol the chase continued on to Gores Trailer Road. A third trooper, Sgt. B.C. Harris, joined the pursuit.
After trying to block the fleeing car, highway patrol decided to sideswipe Lee after turning onto Antioch Church Road. Investigators say the car ran off the road and rolled over after hitting the ditch. The trooper who stopped the vehicle ended up in a ditch on the other side of the road. His vehicle went in frontwards then completely flipped and landed on all four tires.
Sgt. Harris suffered a concussion and some cuts and bruises. Highway Patrol says Lee and Wright had minor to no injuries.
Most residents in this quiet community south of Whiteville were unaware of the chase turned crash until several hours later.
“When we were coming to church, all I could see was marks,” Johnny Hewett said.
Lee now faces several charges including DWI, reckless driving, assault on a officer, speeding to avoid arrest, driving without a license and two counts of damage to state property.
According to Highway Patrol Wright does not face any charges at this time.
Sgt. Harris, who was in that cruiser which flipped, was back on the job today but was not out on the road.