ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Virginia State Police said a man is in the hospital after being hit by a tire that broke loose from a tractor-trailer. The incident occurred early Saturday at the Virginia Welcome Center on Interstate 81.
At approximately 11:20 a.m., a tractor-trailer traveling north on I-81 pulled off onto the right shoulder just inside the Virginia line because the driver had detected a strange vibration while traveling and pulled over to check it out, said official. Authorities said the tractor-trailer pulled onto the shoulder, one of its tires broke loose and bounced off to the right and into the Bristol Welcome Center, rolled through the parking lot, struck a handicap sign and then a man walking out of the Welcome Center facility. The impact of being hit by the tire, threw the man against the front window of the Welcome Center. Police said the man, Marvin R. Owens III, 26, of Marion, Va., was transported by ambulance to Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment of serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Manuel Santos, 56, of Middleburg, Fla., was charged for having defective equipment. The incident remains under investigation.