Allegedly drunk airline employee arrested after hit-and-run involving 69-year-old cyclist

Two people are “lucky to be alive” after being struck by a man accused of driving while under the influence.

(Video Credit: Fox4)

Shocking video of the incident shows retired physician Tom Geppert, 69, and Deborah Eads, 65, casually cycling with some friends near a Texas airport when a white Subaru Forester approaches the pair at a high rate of speed. Rather than moving over, the vehicle strikes the back of Eads’ bike, also clipping Geppert’s back wheel as he veers to the left. Both cyclists go down, and the Forester is seen running over Geppert’s legs with the front and back passenger tires before speeding off.

Some of the fellow cyclists who had been accompanying the pair chased the vehicle to a nearby gas station, where they confronted the driver and demanded he return to the scene of the crash. Benjamin Hylander, a 31-year-old American Airlines cargo worker, is accused of being behind the wheel at the time of the collision. Police descended on the scene, running Hylander through roadside sobriety testing as well as a breathalyzer. The man admitted to police that he had consumed some alcohol before the crash, according to the arrest report. Law enforcement found six empty IPA cans in his vehicle and recovered two cans of Coors Light from the grass near the vehicle.

Eads was treated for a severe laceration and Geppert, who says he lost consciousness immediately following the collision, received a concussion, a fractured rib, and an injured hamstring. He claims that his bike saved him from more severe injuries.

“Just so lucky it happened to be my thigh, and I think the bike kind of elevated the car a little bit,” he told KDFW.

Geppert says that this incident isn’t going to put him off of cycling, and he is grateful for the men and women who helped him and chased down the vehicle after he was struck.

“Just overall amazingly lucky that I’m still alive,” he said.

Hylander faces two charges of intoxication assault with a vehicle and two additional charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Sierra Marlee

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