TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP — Under different circumstances, the 2012 Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond would have been memorable for the downpour that delayed the NASCAR race.
But instead, Sunday’s race ended with tragedy.
More than 100,000 people were in the raceway complex when thunderstorms started raging above, two lightning bolts struck areas of the parking lot, and one man was killed. Brian Zimmerman, 41, was from Lackawanna County.
“I did see the news, and then I read it online, it was online that somebody did get killed. But, I never would have thought it was a neighbor,” said one of Zimmerman’s neighbors in Moosic.
While the lightning tragedy was making national news Sunday night, Brian Zimmerman’s neighbors in Moosic never thought it would hit so close to home. Neighbors say Zimmerman had lived in Lackawanna County for years, the past few in Moosic with his wife and three young children.
Friends tell us Zimmerman went to Pocono Raceway on Sunday with three close friends, all from the Moscow area of Lackawanna County. The friends were standing by their cars when the lightning struck. Zimmerman was pronounced dead at the hospital, and one man is still recovering.
“I remember them saying someone was killed but it didn’t strike that he was a Moosic man,” added neighbor Joan Watkins.
Neighbors who knew Zimmerman’s family well say the community’s already started to rally around them. A memorial fund has been set up in Brian Zimmerman’s name.
Family members told Newswatch 16 that anyone wishing to contribute to the memorial fund can make a donation at any Fidelity Bank.