Eric Zimmerman, 42, a Veteran, Is Killed Crossing SR100 in Palm Coast Thursday Evening
FlaglerLive | May 11, 2012
Last Updated: 5:52 p.m.
Julie Zimmerman Davis, Eric Zimmerman’s sister, wrote the following Friday afternoon:
My brother was a Gulf War Veteran and my hero. He served his country long and hard and fought for our freedom and that of others. He was a proud American who never hurt anybody nor said an unkind word about anyone. He leaves behind a grieving mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, nephews, and many family and friends. Rest in peace, big brother. You finally are home. You fought the good fight. You won the race. You are whole again. “Honor, courage and commitment are the values that guide us—Semper Fidelis is the motto that bonds us. To guard our nation is to guard its principles, becoming not only an elite warrior, but also a noble one.” Semper Fi, brother.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
The FAMILY of Eric
I also just want to say my heart and prayers go out to Ms. Ricks. We are so sorry this happened. We are praying for you and wish you peace.
Eric Zimmerman, 42, was crossing State Road 100, on foot from the north shoulder going south, when he crossed into the path of a Toyota SR5 4 Runner in the outside, eastbound lane of the highway Thursday evening, at 9:36 p.m. Zimmerman, who is from Palm Coast, was killed.
The collision took place immediately in front of the BP station on the south side of the road, between the station’s two entrances.
After the medical examiner removed Zimmerman’s body from the scene at 11:02 p.m., all that remained of the victim’s possession was a small backpack, which sat next to an emergency orange cone on the outside lane as Florida Highway Patrol investigators went about their work.
Angela Ricks, 38, was at the wheel of the SUV, which sat about 50 yards further down the road, immediately before the southbound ramp for I-95, by the Palm Coast welcome sign, evidence of a violent collision denting the middle of the bumper and the hood, which buckled inward. A think, bloody sliver of hair was also visible on the rear hatch, suggesting that the victim may have been flipped above the SUV and back to the ground.
An FHP investigator at the scene said that based on preliminary findings, Ricks–who walked near a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office SUV, spoke on the phone or sat in that SUV at the scene after the accident–was not at fault or facing charges, as Zimmerman had crossed into the car’s path. There is no crossing point there. There is a turning lane from westbound traffic going to the gas station.
Zimmerman was a transient who had been in jail repeatedly since 2009, but, with rare exceptions involving other minor mischief, only on charges of trespassing–a charge frequently leveled at the homeless when residents call in police against them.
SR100 eastbound from Seminole Woods Boulevard to I-95 was closed after the wreck and remained closed until just after midnight. The Florida Highway Patrol released the identity of the victim Friday afternoon after next-of-kin was notified. Ricks did not appear physically hurt.
The fatality is the third on Flagler County roads in five days. Two women were killed in a wreck when their car collided with a truck at the entrance to Plantation Bay on U.S. 1, near Korona. That wreck took place on May 3. Harriet Look, 76, a resident of Plantation Bay, died on May 4, and Diane Teske, 68, died on May 7.
After Zimmerman’s body was loaded onto the medical examiner’s gray van, the van wouldn’t start: the battery had malfunctioned. The problem was resolved within minutes, and the van went on its way to St. Johns County.