Geraldton ‘hit-and-run’ crash: Cyclist Steve Zimmermann speaks from hospital bed after suffering broken neck

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Kate CampbellGeraldton Guardian
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Steve Zimmermann in Royal Perth Hospital after the alleged hit-and-run attack in Geraldton.
Camera IconSteve Zimmermann in Royal Perth Hospital after the alleged hit-and-run attack in Geraldton.

The German cyclist left paralysed after a driver allegedly ploughed into him in a moment of road rage madness hasn’t given up hope of walking again despite doctors telling him his chances of a full recovery are incredibly slim.

Steve Zimmermann suffered a broken neck, among other serious injuries, when a driver allegedly deliberately hit him on Bayly Street last Thursday and left him on the footpath while he was cycling home from work.

In Royal Perth Hospital today, Mr Zimmermann, a 31-year-old crayfish factory worker, credited his fiancée Leela Klein with keeping him strong and was full of praise for the quick-thinking strangers who helped save his life and all the support he has received since the incident.

“She’s with me and by my side, she’s so strong,” he told 7NEWS tonight.

“A big thank you to everyone who helped me to this point.”

Steve Zimmermann in Royal Perth Hospital.
Camera IconSteve Zimmermann in Royal Perth Hospital. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Spalding man Paul Stuart Meadowcroft, 50, is behind bars charged over the hit-and-run crash, with a court told on Saturday he did a U-turn, crossed the road, mounted the kerb and deliberately struck Mr Zimmerman after he saw the cyclist pull the middle finger at him following a mix-up at a roundabout moments earlier. Mr Meadowcroft plans to make a bail application on Thursday.

When asked about the accused man, Mr Zimmerman said: “I hope he go to jail for a long, long time and he can’t do this anymore.”

I told him no matter what the future will bring, when you’re in a wheelchair or when you can walk I will stay with you and be with you.

Ms Klein said she and her fiancé were doing their best to stay positive.

“We have so much hope and we want to make a wonder that he can walk again,” she said.

“I am just so happy that he’s here, he’s here, he’s alive and I told him no matter what the future will bring, when you’re in a wheelchair or when you can walk I will stay with you and be with you.”

Steve Zimmermann and his fiancee Leela Klein.
Camera IconSteve Zimmermann and his fiancee Leela Klein. Credit: Supplied

Ms Klein and Mr Zimmermann, in Geraldton on a backpacking holiday around Australia since January, planned to get married in the port city on May 20 – the anniversary of the day they met – and are still determined to tie the knot on that day, even if it’s in hospital.

Friends of the German couple have set up a GoFundMe page to help them. The fundraiser was organised by SAFE Carnarvon, an animal rehoming organisation which the couple helped while they were in the Gascoyne town during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“Steve’s prognosis for walking again is very poor, however their spiritual beliefs, and physical strength is huge, and they themselves believe Steve will walk again,” it states on the GoFundMe page.

“Being in a foreign country can be very frightening, and made ten fold worse due to the current pandemic. Steve’s family are not able to travel to Australia to be with their beloved son and Leela’s family cannot come to support her when she needs support most.

Steve Zimmermann
Camera IconSteve Zimmermann

“It is now time to give back to this amazing couple. They do not deserve what has happened to them, they are so kind and generous.

“Every dollar raised from the fundraiser will go to Steve and Leela to help cover ongoing medical and immediate day-to-day expenses.”

To help, visit https://bit.ly/3rX02to

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