EXCLUSIVE: The family George Zimmerman rescued from horrific car wreck on Florida highway last week – less than a mile from where he shot Trayvon Martin dead
- Couple rescued from overturned vehicle by George Zimmerman named
- Mark Gerstle, 52, and his wife, Dana, 41 – were pulled from the wreck by Zimmerman just days after his acquittal
- First time Zimmerman was seen since being acquitted just four days earlier
- Went into hiding after he, his family and attorneys received death threats
- Rallies against the verdict took place all weekend
The rescue took place on Wednesday after a series of frantic 911 calls following the incident on a stretch of Florida highway just yards from where Zimmerman shot 17 year old Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, acquitted of all counts against him on July 13, has been in hiding since the controversial finding that has ignited America and brought thousands onto the streets of America.
Father of two, Mr Gerstle, 52, was driving onto the off ramp of the highway when he lost control of the vehicle resulting in the terrifying crash that left him, his wife and two children aged eight and four trapped.
Rescued: Mark Gerstle (left) and his wife Dana (right) were pulled from the wreck of their mangled SUV last week by George Zimmerman – who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin last week in Florida
Neither he nor his 41-year-old wife chose to comment on their extraordinary brush with the now infamous Neighborhood Watch Captain.
Zimmerman did not witness the accident which took place at 5.47pm but was on the scene shortly afterwards.
Though he spoke with his lawyers on Friday he did not make any mention of the rescue.Speaking to MailOnline Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said: ‘We spoke with George on Friday and he made no mention of this at all. That’s very typical of George.
‘He has a history of getting involved….it’s just the way he is.
‘There has already been the backlash of people saying this is some sort of PR stunt but it isn’t. We’ve had it confirmed by the Sheriff.’
The heroic rescue took place just four days later, less than a mile from where Zimmerman shot the teen in a gated Sanford community in Seminole County.
Sanford Police Department Capt Jim McAuliffe said that Zimmerman was identified by one of the crash victims as the man who pulled him and his family from the mangled blue Ford Explorer.
‘George Zimmerman pulled me out,’ firefighters were told by the unidentified driver, according to McAuliffe.
The responding deputy said that when he arrived at the intersection of I-4 and Route 46, two men – one of whom was Zimmerman – had already gotten the Gerstle family, which included their two children, out of the overturned vehicle.
Zimmerman left after telling the deputy what happened for his accident report, and did not witness the crash.
No one was injured.
Since being acquitted, his family – and even his lawyers – as well as George himself have received numerous death threats.
His brother Robert Zimmerman said last week: ‘We have had an enormous amount of death threats. George’s legal counsel has had death threats, the police chief of Sanford, many people have had death threats.
‘Everyone with Georgie’s DNA should be killed’ — just every kind of horrible thing you can imagine.’
Over the weekend, nationwide rallies took place to press for federal civil rights charges against the former neighborhood watch leader.
Beyonce and Jay Z joined the Florida teenager’s mother as she spoke to crowds in Manhattan alongside the Reverend Al Sharpton.
The case has become a flashpoint in separate but converging national debates over self-defense laws, guns, and race relations.
The Rev Al Sharpton’s National Action Network organized Justice for Trayvon rallies and vigils outside federal buildings from noon in at least 101 cities, from New York and Los Angeles to Wichita in Kansas and Birmingham, Alabama.
On Saturday morning he told supporters in Manhattan he wanted a rollback of stand-your-ground self-defense laws.
‘We are trying to change laws so that this never, ever happens again,’ he said.
‘We have the strength to wipe our tears away. Last Saturday we cried. This Saturday we march.’
Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, also spoke at the New York rally, telling the crowd: ‘Today it was my son. Tomorrow it might be yours.’
She added: ‘Of course we are hurting. Of course we are shocked and disappointed, but that just means we have to roll up our sleeves and continue to fight.’
Ms Fulton, her son Jahvaris, and the Rev Al Sharpton, joined the rally as it marched to One Police Plaza at noon, where they were joined by Jay Z and his wife Beyonce, according to the New York Post.
Although they did not speak at the rally, the Rev Al Sharpton told the crowd: ‘Jay Z told me, “I’m a father. Beyonce is a mother”. We all feel the pain and apprehension – the laws must protect everybody, or it doesn’t protect anybody.’
He added: ‘We do not come from hate, we come from love of children,’ according to the Huffington Post.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2374033/EXCLUSIVE-The-family-George-Zimmerman-rescued-horrific-car-wreck-Florida-highway-week–mile-shot-Trayvon-Martin-dead.html#ixzz2ZpP6WgOa
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