S1 owner, forum member and doctor... Adam Zimmerman of Allentown died in race car crash in an amateur event Saturday in Connecticut. Adam was 36 year old.
Printed in part, by Ann Wlazelek Of The Morning Call
The family doctor who lived in Allentown, practiced in Phillipsburg and this year became a school physician for the Palmerton Area School District died Saturday afternoon September 24 while pursuing a hobby he loved, sports car racing. "He had a type A personality," his wife said.
Adam Zimmerman died in a Connecticut hospital about a half hour after his European-made ''Radical'' brand named race car collided with the back of a car that had crashed into a guardrail and spun into his path on the 1.5-mile track at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn.
Race officials and state police from Canaan, Connecticut, said the crash happened at 4:50 p.m. near the end of the race on a climbing right-hand turn hitting a car that had crashed just seconds before out of view.
According to officials, the car did not ignite and Zimmerman was not ejected, adding he was strapped in with five or six safety harnesses and was wearing a HANS safety device. He was pronounced dead at Sharon Hospital at 5:24 pm. The other driver, Phil Johnson of New Haven, Conn., walked away with bruised ribs.
''It was a freak thing,'' Trooper John Green said, adding that Zimmerman may have died from a head injury akin to the one that killed NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt in 2001. The case will remain open until the cars can be inspected for mechanical problems, Green said. Lime Rock Park opened in 1957 and last saw a fatality in 2003, according to a park spokesman.
The race was a private one-hour endurance event for about 30 members of the Eastern Motor Racing Association on a track considered one of the most prominent road-racing circuits in the Northeast. Zimmerman, a veteran amateur, had raced at Lime Rock many times in the seven or more years that he had pursued the sport.
"He was passionate about anything he did," said his wife of 11 years, Debbie. She said he began racing while training to be a doctor. Zimmerman, in fact, captured first-place in a Poconos endurance race in August 2004 and again last month, according to Bob Hill, chairman of the Eastern Motor race club. He also raced at Watkins Glen in New York. Saturday's race was not open to the public and Zimmerman's wife and children, Joshua, 6, and Giselle, 3, did not attend. They heard about the accident from members of Zimmerman's pit crew.
After graduating from Rutgers University and receiving his medical degree from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Zimmerman completed a three-year family residency at Warren Hospital in Phillipsburg in 1998. He worked for Warren Medical Associates for a year before opening a private practice at 422 Coventry Drive, Phillipsburg, and was a member of the medical staff of Warren and Easton hospitals. In June, the Palmerton Area School Board named him school physician for 2005-06. Zimmerman also started a CPR training business, did public speaking and cared for members of their synagogue, Congregation Sons of Israel.