What we know about the man accused of striking HPD officer along the Southwest Freeway

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What we know about the man accused of striking HPD officer along the Southwest Freeway. (KTRK)

As a rookie Houston police officer fights for his life after being struck by a vehicle Wednesday morning, we're learning more about the driver accused of slamming into him.

Robert Zimmerman, 79, is currently charged with intoxication assault of a public servant. According to court records, he has no prior criminal history and was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

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A business associate of Zimmerman told ABC13 that he was "kind of a loner" and is semi-retired.

Zimmerman was a business owner involved in the real estate business. Associates said Zimmerman bought and resold homes. His neighbors told ABC13 he keeps to himself. He would often walk his German Shepherd along his street, but neighbors said he was pretty quiet otherwise.

"He was just a nice guy and I just hate the result of all this," said neighbor Cliff Helmcamp.

We've also learned that Zimmerman has been married at least two times. Currently, he has a partner that stays at his home.

His family did not want to comment but his partner did talk to ABC13.

"My thoughts and prayers go out to the officer and his family. I wish him a full recovery," he said.

As far as where Zimmerman was prior to the incident at 2 a.m. Wednesday, that's something investigators are working to figure out. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said they are getting conflicting stories.

"I can just tell you based on what I know about his conduct leading up to the tragedy, this tragic event that thank God despite this man's conduct our officer is still alive. There was no excuse for what happened, it was very preventable," said Chief Acevedo.

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