Dallas/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 21, 2024
Suspected DUI Driver Accused of Striking Cyclists Near Dallas-Fort Worth AirportSource: Google Street View

A sobering video captured a white Subaru Forrester striking two cyclists from behind near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, as reported by The Dallas Express. The incident, which occurred during a group ride along Airport Road, saw the driver identified as Benjamin Hylander, a 31-year-old cargo worker for American Airlines, flee the scene after hitting the cyclists. Hylander was subsequently apprehended by DFW Airport police after failing a breathalyzer test.

Tom Geppert, a 69-year-old retired physician, was one of the cyclists hit and recounted his harrowing experience stating, "All of a sudden, something pushes me from behind," and revealed that it was the last thing he remembered before losing consciousness, as he told Fox 4 News. After the vehicle ran over his thigh and bike, and despite sustaining a concussion, fractured rib, and hamstring injury, he considers himself amazingly lucky that he's still alive. The other cyclist, Deborah Jo Eads, 65, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Fellow cyclists responded with aid for Geppert and Eads and also played a critical role in tracking down Hylander, who after being detained by police, was found in possession of empty beer cans in his SUV and nearby, police noted he had half a dozen empty cans of Voodoo Ranger Juice Force and two cans of Coors Light according to the arrest affidavit, as per Fox 4 News. Hylander is facing two counts each of intoxication assault with a vehicle and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and despite paying a $15,000 bond, he has been withheld from service at American Airlines.

The incident underscores a disturbing trend in Dallas, as highlighted by The Dallas Express, where alcohol played a role in 64 of the 196 fatal collisions last year; such episodes come at a time when the Dallas Police Department struggles with an officer shortage, managing with about 3,000 officers when a City report recommends 4,000 to maintain public safety and response times, even though the department just received a budget of $654 million this fiscal year. Meanwhile, Geppert, reflecting on the incident and his recovery, attributes his survival to the bicycle that may have lifted the vehicle slightly, averting more severe injuries despite the incident, Geppert has expressed his intention to cycle again. He extends his gratitude to his fellow cyclists for their quick response and support following the terrifying ordeal.