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North Texas survivor run over in viral video angry about suspected drunk driver's actions

North Texas survivor run over in viral video angry about suspected drunk driver's actions
North Texas survivor run over in viral video angry about suspected drunk driver's actions 02:39

GRAPEVINE —Thomas "Tom" Geppert got big hugs from his grandchildren Wednesday. His entire family is breathing a sigh of relief after the 69-year-old had an unforgettable Monday evening incident that caught a lot of eyes on social media.

"And, all of a sudden, I get pushed forward, and I start feeling myself falling to the right," Geppert said.

Geppert is an active cyclist who also loves pickleball. On Monday evening, Geppert said he was riding with a smaller group from the Grapevine Chain Gang. That push he described is the last thing he recalled.

"The next thing I remember is the, you know, ER physician over me asking me with, you know, what's going on ?" he said.

The retired researcher and rheumatologist said people told him he had been talking, but he can only remember the missing gap between the 2700 block of North Airfield Dr and the hospital at 6:30 that evening.

DFW Airport Police said Benjamin Hylander hit Geppert and 65-year-old Deborah Jo Eads. A witness in the cycling group was recording the ride on her bike's GoPro. 

In the viral video, police said Hylander's 2020 Subaru Forrester hits Eads and Geppert. The Grapevine retiree appears to take the worst of the collision as the vehicle runs over him. Geppert has now seen the video to match what others told him.

"First of all, it's just like, you know, you just want to scream," Geppert said. "You know, how did you not see us? We're right there."

Witnesses told police Hylander kept going. Investigators said they found Geppert stretched out in the roadway as witnesses followed the 31-year-old suspect.

"I ran him down. He's parked behind the Whataburger," a witness told the police in the report.

Hylander was at a nearby gas station in the 2900 block of N Airfield Dr. 

Officers said he tried to run back to help Geppert when confronted with the allegations. First responders said they smelled alcohol.

The Fort Worth man failed a field sobriety test as Geppert went to the hospital. Investigators said they found eight beers inside of his vehicle. The suspect admitted to officers he had two or three large beers, police said. 

Hylander was arrested on charges of intoxication assault with a vehicle SBI, an accident involving an injury, and driving while intoxicated BAC greater than 0.15. He listed American Airlines as his employer. Police deactivated an access bade. His employer has taken him out of service, according to the airline.

Eads got treated on the scene. CBS News Texas tried to speak with her about the incident. A woman who hung up the phone said she was not available.

Geppert, a husband, father of two, and grandfather, was out of the hospital Monday night. He said he was aching and had "brain fuzz" from a concussion, a broken rib, and road rash.

"I've been riding 4000 miles a year for 20 years, and I've never had an interaction with a bicycle before," He said. "And most people don't do crazy things like that, come up and run into you from behind. When you're going 20 miles an hour, you know, it's just it's it's crazy."

According to Geppert, his pricey bike can not be salvaged. It cost him around $10,000. The accident survivor is also battling prostate cancer.

In a few weeks, he hopes to celebrate his 70th birthday and get a new bike. He may not be able to ride soon, but Geppert said pickleball may be an option as early as next week.

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