Officials say a tractor-trailer driver pulled his big rig onto the right shoulder of Interstate 81 after driving over something in the highway at approximately 11:20 a.m. local time. In the process, a tire detached from the semi and rolled toward the Welcome Center.
WDBJ7 reports that the tire crashed through the parking lot, striking a sign before slamming into a pedestrian exiting the Welcome Center. The force from the tire knocked the man, 26-year-old Marvin Owens, into the front window of the Welcome Center.
Owens received treatment at Bristol Regional Medical Center for serious injuries, reports WDBJ7. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. Police charged the driver of the 18-wheeler for having defective equipment.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to WDBJ7.
The following information regarding large truck traffic crashes is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):