Police: Tire blew out on RV moments before crash on I-81 in Harrisonburg

An RV crashed into an underpass on I-81 at MM 245 in Harrisonburg. | Credit: WHSV
An RV crashed into an underpass on I-81 at MM 245 in Harrisonburg. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Nov. 30, 2019 at 7:02 PM EST
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(UPDATE: Dec. 2., 7:00 p.m.):

Investigators said a crash involving an RV which sent three people to the hospital on Saturday afternoon was caused by a tire that blew out.

The crash happened near the overpass on Interstate 81 near exit 245 in Harrisonburg. Police say a 2002 Fleetwood RV was heading north when a driver side tire blew out and the RV ran off the left side of the roadway, hit a guardrail, and then smashed into a bridge pillar.

Three dogs were also in the motorhome and are being cared for.

According to Virginia State Police, the driver of the RV was identified as William F. Slevin, 50, of Boonton, NJ. Investigators said he suffered serious injuries in the crash and was transported to Sentara RMH Medical Center. He was wearing a seat belt.

Two other women were hurt in the crash. According to a press release issued on Monday night, a 19-year-old was ejected from the RV. A 45-year-woman on board was partially-ejected. Police said the women were not wearing seat belts.

Both of them were seriously injured and taken to Sentara RMH for treatment.

No charges have been filed in connection to Saturday's crash.

Traffic was backed up in both directions, with delays up to six miles.

Crews were able to reopen northbound and southbound lanes around 5:30 p.m on Saturday.

The Harrisonburg Police Department, Harrisonburg Fire Department and Virginia State Police responded, with assistance from VDOT.