With each step he took Sunday toward the finish line at the St. Patrick's Day Triathlon, Ed Lujan was defying the odds.
Lujan, a Dallas police sergeant, nearly died five years ago when he was run over outside a Dallas nightclub.
In November 2015, Lujan was working an off-duty shift in uniform at the Kalua Discotheque when Eduardo Gonzalez-Rios was kicked out of the club. Police said Gonzalez-Rios got into his vehicle, backed into one officer and then drove forward and ran over Lujan.
“I was run over three times," Lujan said. "From head to toe, the only thing not broken was my right arm, and my left eye. So I’ve had numerous surgeries. I have a fused leg, a titanium leg, a dislocated hip and a traumatic brain injury."
Gonzalez-Rios is in prison serving 35 years for three counts of aggravated assault on a public servant, according to court and public records. The prison time includes two five year sentences that run concurrently with the 35-year sentence.
After the incident, it took Lujan, who is now in his 26th year on the force, 19 months to get back to full duty.
Despite the challenges, Lujan said he never second guessed that he'd be where he is having just competed in his 54th triathlon.
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“I had no doubt, but with the support of your family and friends, you can do anything," he said. "It’s just a mind thing. It hurt, but you just keep on pedaling and keep going. It’s part of life."
Lujan said this triathlon finish is dedicated to the first responders, doctors and nurses who saved him, and the first responders who are caring for people with COVID-19.
“It’s just a purpose to get out here and support everything that they do, especially through this pandemic," Lujan said. "We’ve lost a lot of people in the community, loved ones and friends, and just to be out here with the public, and to say thank you. Thank you for everything."
Lujan is now preparing to compete next month in the Cavemen Triathlon in Flower Mound.