Monday, July 28, 2014





Moosic man lightning victim


February 16. 2013 3:41PM


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Authorities on Aug. 6 identified Brian Zimmerman, 41, of Moosic, as the fan killed by an apparent lightning strike at Pocono Raceway the previous evening.


Nine others were injured just after a heavy thunderstorm system caused officials to call the Pennsylvania 400 early. Authorities are not disclosing their identities.


Monroe County Coroner Robert M. Allen said it appeared, based on witness accounts, that the death was caused by the lightning strike.


Crews worked on resuscitating Zimmerman en route from the raceway in Long Pond to Pocono Medical Center in East Stroudsburg, but Allen said he arrived at the emergency room dead on arrival.


The victim was near his car in a parking lot after the race had ended when lightning struck the car, Allen said. Bystanders performed CPR on Zimmerman, who had gone into cardiac arrest, until paramedics arrived, Allen said.


They took him to the track's medical facility, where efforts to revive him failed. The strike occurred at about 5:01 p.m., the track confirmed.


Nine others hurt

Officials at Pocono Raceway reported Thursday that nine people who injured have all been released.


Track spokesman Bob Pleban said four of those injured were transported to Pocono Medical Center. Two had minor injuries, one had moderate injuries and the fourth, Zimmerman, had critical injuries and eventually died.


An emotional track President Brandon Igdalsky, who also expressed his condolences for the victims, made the announcement of the fatality at about 7:45 p.m. Sunday


"Unfortunately, a member of our raceway family here, a fan, has passed away," he said.


On Monday, Igdalsky issued a statement that noted: "The safety of all guests to Pocono Raceway is of the utmost importance to our entire staff. This tragic event is at the forefront of all of our thoughts and prayers. We will learn from the incident and continue to implement strategies to help ensure the safety of fans and all attendees at future events at Pocono Raceway."


In addition, he said the track has established a memorial fund for victims of this incident.


Review under way

NASCAR spokesman Dave Higdon told The Associated Press that officials are reviewing how the track carried out its emergency procedures. He cautioned against rushing to judgment until all the facts are known.


"Anytime something like this happens, we make sure we look at it again and see if there's anything we should have done different," Higdon said. "It's never a good day for us when someone passes and people are hurt."


Track officials are going through log books to establish a timeline for the storm, weather warnings and final laps of the shortened race, Igdalsky said.




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