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Turnpike motorist charged with driving 8 miles in wrong direction

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Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A 24-year-old Allegheny County man will make his first court appearance Thursday on charges of driving the wrong direction for 8 miles along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Westmoreland County.

Nicholas J. Greiner of 1354 4th Ave., Coraopolis, is charged by state police at New Stanton with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license, and driving on the wrong side of the highway after the Jan. 11 incident.

Trooper Charles Pravlik reported in an affidavit of probable cause filed before Norvelt District Judge Roger Eckels that the turnpike had to be temporarily closed between the Donegal and New Stanton interchanges during the episode. Police allege Greiner entered the eastbound lane of the turnpike interchange near Donegal at milepost 90 and drove westbound for about 8 miles before he stopped.

Pravlik said the turnpike received numerous reports of a wrong-way driver from other motorists as Greiner drove from Donegal toward Mt. Pleasant.

State police said when troopers arrived, Greiner was “unsteadily leaning” against his 2012 Chevrolet Cruz on the side of the toll road. Police said he refused a blood draw at Excela Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg and smelled of alcohol.

Attempts to reach Greiner for comment were unsuccessful.

Greiner's hearing is scheduled Thursday before Eckels.

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