Top Headlines on May 17

By: Kitty Capelle
By: Kitty Capelle

These are the most viewed headlines on Stories with available video will have a link in the headline.

Two Adults in Serious Condition, Two Kids in Stable Condition After Wreck on I-81

Reporter: Carly Stephenson


BROADWAY -- Four people are in the hospital after a wreck that happened on Friday at about 2:50 a.m. on Interstate 81 in the southbound lanes near Broadway at mile marker 259.

The Broadway Fire Department Fire Chief Jeff Lohr said two kids were ejected from the car.

The driver of the car ran off the right side of the road, flipping the vehicle.

All four people involved will be taken to the University of Virginia hospital.

"All four were treated at the scene two of them were airlifted from the interstate to the University of Virginia and there's two other patients that will be airlifted from possibly Rockingham Memorial to that destination as well," said Lohr.

Three separate helicopters came to airlift them after the wreck.

The kids are in stable condition as of 4:20 a.m., while the two adults are in serious condition.

Traffic was backed up for about a mile at mile marker 259 near Broadway, but it is open again.

Crews on the scene cleared it around 4:30 a.m. to open up the southbound lanes.

We will continue to keep you updated on their conditions.

Multiple agencies responded to the accident, which included Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, New Market Fire Department, Harrisonburg Rescue Squad and crews from Rockingham County.


Parents React to Purcell Park Robbery

Reporter: David Coy


HARRISONBURG -- Police are looking for two men wanted in a robbery at Purcell Park. It happened Wednesday when a woman was closing up the concession stand and now the money is gone.

Michelle Bolla is a little league mom and volunteer. She said the children are the ones who end up losing.

"To take that money from these children after they have been out there working really hard and it's just sad that some body would do this to them," said Bolla.

The money taken was donations to keep the little league operating. Jennifer Spence said she's closing Thursday, she will have an escort.

"I'm glad that the police are going to get in it. Let the community know that, this is tragic. Somebody stole from little league teams. They didn't just steal money from a bank or a store, they stole from children," said Spence.

The league manager emailed everyone to let them know what happened. Security will be beefed up.

"Anything can happen to anybody. But, we tend to try and stay together. There will be security measures that are going to be put in place from now on and to make sure we are following the league rules. Make sure nobody is alone," said Bolla.

"I'm not gonna be here alone tonight when I go home, but, it's not gonna stop me from doing anything," said Spence.

The woman who was robbed had a sprained knee and a bad headache. If you have any information that could help police, call crime solvers. The number is 540-574-5050.


University Employee Gets Trapped in Ditch while Mowing Lawn

Reporter: Elizabeth Lamb


HARRISONBURG -- James Madison University officials are investigating what emergency workers are calling a freak accident at the school.

Rescue crews lifted a JMU employee from a ditch nearly an hour after they received the first 911 call.

Harrisonburg Fire Department Chief Larry Shifflett said the employee fell in while on a riding lawnmower.

“We've got two people to look our for. We've got our patient and we've got our responders,” said Chief Shifflett.

The employee was trapped under the mower before crews pulled him to safety.

The ditch was part of a project from Columbia Gas. A representative with Columbia Gas said the project is linking new gas pipes to old gas pipes. The pipes are not damaged. The mower and employee landed right beside them.

The employee has minor injuries and Chief Shifflett said the employee's condition helped with the rescue.

“It buys you a little time. You still have to do the same job, but you can slow down a bit and just take that extra second or two to make sure that what you're doing is exactly the right thing to do,” said Chief Shifflett.

The employee went to the hospital.

Billy Wyatt, a JMU spokesperson, is thankful the accident wasn't worse.

“We're grateful that nobody was seriously injured. We're thankful for the first responders who were able to handle the situation professionally and safely,” said Wyatt.

JMU, Columbia Gas and investigators are looking into exactly what happened to keep accidents like this one from happening again.

“We've got to look at both sides of this every time we go into an incident such as this and make sure that we're doing what is necessary and effective to make the rescue, but also to keep our people safe,” said Chief Shifflett.

Chief Shifflett said he's proud of his rescue team and that the employee is doing well.

“In order to do things right, we've got to have a response that gets us enough people to take care of everything we need to take care of,” said Chief Shifflett.


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