13th St. tragedy No. 4 story

    (The top 10 stories of 2011 have been selected by employees of the Daily Democrat. This is No. 4.)

    A 25-year-old construction worker from Fort Wayne died April 13 in Adams Memorial Hospital, a short time after being hit while on the job by the wheels of a tractor-trailer truck at a highway project at S. 13th and Winchester streets in Decatur.
    The tragedy was voted as the No. 4 news story of 2011 in Adams County.
    Ryan D. Zimmerman was pronounced dead at the hospital after being rushed there from the scene by Adams County Emergency Medical Service. EMS personnel performed cardio-pulmonary resuscitation on him during the ambulance trip.
    The Adams County Coroner’s office reported that Zimmerman died from blunt force trauma. An EMS radio call said he suffered head injuries.
    According to police, Zimmerman was hunched over doing some drilling in a hole about 15 inches deep when wheels from the turning trailer struck him at 10:15 a.m. The truck was being turned from Winchester to 13th.
    The truck was driven by Gary L. Beal, 37, of Huntington, who was not cited by Decatur police for any driving infractions, but was cited by an Indiana State Police truck enforcement trooper for having an expired truck license plate and not having current fuel tax records.
    Zimmerman was an employee of the Primco firm in Fort Wayne. Primco was working on a highway improvement project on U.S. 27 for the Indiana Department of Transportation.