The Main Stream

Jul 18, 2012 9:00 PM

Injured cyclist speaks out after hit and run

TUCSON - A bicyclist struck by a truck last week speaks out after undergoing two surgeries.

Jay Zimmermann said he was cycling up the bicycle path on Mountain Ave. when a truck ran the stop sign at Blacklidge Dr., and the last thing he knew, his body was flying over the hood of the truck.

He was lying on the ground in and out of consciousness, and he said he remembers seeing a bone sticking out of his leg.

"I absolutely could have lost my life that night," said Zimmermann.

Patrick Diehl heard the crash and rushed to Zimmermann's aid at the intersection of Blacklidge Dr. and Mountain Ave.

"Very loud impact," said Diehl.

Diehl said he and his partner were walking home from dinner when they heard it, and then saw a truck speed down Blacklidge Dr. toward Campbell.

"Basically just left me on the road there after the contact..." said Zimmermann.

Diehl said he told his partner to dial 9-1-1, while he stood out in the street to keep traffic from running over injured Zimmermann.

It was after 9:30 Tuesday night.

"So running away from an accident like this could mean the death of someone who otherwise might recover," said Diehl.

Zimmermann said he's grateful to the man who kept cars from running him over as he lay unconscious in the street.

"It's definitely the first step in me surviving the accident," said Zimmermann.

Zimmermann has had two surgeries to reconstruct his broken leg.

His shoulder is injured, and he has a fractured finger.

He said if it weren't for his helmet, things could have been worse.

"It's just imperative no matter what distance any cyclist is going or how safe they think the road is to wear a helmet," he said.

Zimmermann said he can't wait to get through physical therapy and get back to cycling.

He said he would love to ride in the Tour de Tucson in November if possible.

Zimmermann is 24-years-old and said he would love to train for the Ironman Triathlon and compete before he is 30.

He is also working on a new restaurant downtown.

His said his partners are working on it right now, and he hopes to dedicate more time to the restaurant when he recovers.

As for the driver that got away, witnesses said he was driving a light-colored older model truck.

If you have any information that could help, call police.

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