George Zimmerman rescues family from overturned SUV

Zimmerman helped pull family to safety

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

SEMINOLE, Fla. - George Zimmerman helped rescue a family of four from an overturned Sports Utility Vehicle just four days after being found not guilty of murder, according to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

The accident happened around 5:45 p.m. on July 17 near the Interstate 4 and 417 interchange.

According to several witnesses, a blue Ford Explorer, being driven by Mark Gerstle, lost control and flipped over near the on-ramp to I-4 eastbound from 417.

According to Zimmerman's attorney Mark O'Mara, Zimmerman did not witness the crash, but stopped moments afterward and helped stabilize the vehicle and pull the family to safety.

"That's just who he is," said O'Mara. "This is so typical of him that it makes perfect sense to me."

O'Mara said Zimmerman was in a vehicle with a friend when they came upon the crash scene.

The whole ordeal happened just four days after a jury found Zimmerman not guilty of murder.

"I think any one of us, if we came on a scene like that, would look at it and say they may need help. That's George's way. He gave the help he thought may be needed," said O'Mara.

While Zimmerman and another passerby stopped to help, at least eight other people called 911.

"It turned over and we saw smoke," said one 911 caller. "I don't know if it's on fire. There's other people that are helping the people."

The sheriff's office reports Mark and Dana Gerstle and their two children were inside the vehicle.

O'Mara said the Gerstle family immediately recognized Zimmerman, as did the other person who stopped to help, but no one made mention of that on any of the 911 calls.

Property records show the Gerstles live in a Port Orange home, but no one answered when Local 6 knocked on the door.

Local 6 found a YouTube video posted to Dana Gerstle's Twitter account on July 20th. She commented that she was amazed that her young son was singing and dancing just days after the major roll-over accident.

As for O'Mara, he's not surprised at all by his client's actions.

"That's just what he does, so the idea that he would stop and offer aid to somebody in need in a car just makes sense. That's who he always has been, and though he's been vilified for what he did on that night, this is still who he is," said O'Mara.

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