‘Gut-wrenching': North Texas biking community reacts to viral video of cyclist ran over near DFW Airport

Advocacy groups like Bike DFW said this is a good time to remind everyone on the roadways to pay attention and be careful

The cycling community is still in shock after a suspected drunk driver crashed into a couple of cyclists and ran over one of them, near DFW Airport on Monday.

In a video posted to social media, a white SUV is seen approaching two cyclists from behind at about 6:30 p.m. on June 17, striking them both and causing them to fall off their bikes. The SUV then ran over 69-year-old Tom Geppert.

“Watching the video, I'm so angry. It looked like he could've stopped before he rolled over me, but then he sped up and went right over me,” said Geppert who suffered a concussion, fractured rib, scrapes and bruises.

Police arrested Benjamin Hylander after cyclists caught up to him and told him to return to the scene. He faces multiple charges including driving while intoxicated.

Everyone is happy the two cyclists are expected to be OK, but the video has shocked many.

"Gut-wrenching," is how Heather McNair, president of Bike DFW described the video when she and her husband, Micahel, watched it.

"To see something that vivid and that unexpected happen was just devastating," said McNair. "Everybody's just devastated and incredibly, incredibly grateful that the injuries were not more than what they were. Very grateful that they are okay that they're going to be back on their bikes again."

She said in a situation like this, it's a good opportunity to remind everyone who uses the roadways about being alert and safe.

"Education is a big part of both reminding cyclists of how to be safe. Obviously, in this case, there was nothing that the cyclists could have done any differently to have been safer. And then to remind drivers that cyclists are humans and people, they are not just an obstacle in your way," said McNair. "So please pay attention, know that we're out there and we're on our bikes and we're just moving from point 'A' to 'B' like you are and if you work with us, we'll work with you and try to be safe and share the road."

What happened earlier in the week brought back memories of what happened to McNair's husband more than a decade ago when he was hit by a car.

"I was in a coma for a month. Everything broken from here to here," said Michael as he pointed from his head to his waist.

He said in 2012 he was at an intersection near his home waiting for the light to turn green. When he had the right of way, he said a car ran the red light and crashed into him.

"The gentleman coming down Ferguson was trying to beat the yellow light. He absolutely admitted he didn't make it. 'The light turned red on me and I hit the cyclist,' and so my bike disappeared into the car, I went off the windshield. So I'm telling you all this from what we can gather, I don't remember any of that," said Michael who had memory loss issues for some time after the crash.

Six months after being hit, Michael was back to riding. He said a doctor initially assumed that he wouldn't ride again given the gravity of his injuries. Michael said his wife told the doctor that she knows he's stubborn and would get back on a bike, which is something she wanted for her husband knowing his passion for riding.

"He (the doctor) goes, 'You're going to let him get back on the road, you can see what happened?' And she goes, 'In the ICU how many patients are here because of a car accident? Are you going to tell them to not get back in a car?' He couldn't argue," described Michael.

The McNairs said they know it's a very personal choice of riding again for those who have experienced a crash, but said they offer support to help people navigate.

"We're going to support you whatever direction you go. At the same time, we're here and we're going to ride with you and we're going to put you in the middle and we're going to protect you and give you the opportunity to get your confidence back of being on the road. We're going to do whatever and however quickly it feels right for you," said McNair.

Data from 2023 from the Texas Department of Transportation states 105 pedal cyclists, which means bicyclists or two-wheeled nonmotorized vehicles, were killed. It's a 15.38% increase from 2022 according to TxDOT.

For perspective, 4,283 people were killed in Texas due to a motor vehicle crash.

"Realistically, you're more likely to have an accident in your car than you are on a bike, so he is safer in so many ways out riding his bike to and from work and he's better for it physically, mentally, and everything else to have that time on the bike every day," said McNair about her husband who bikes from Garland to Irving for work.

The hit-and-run from Monday had been the main topic of conversation at bike shops.

At Playtri Colleyville, general manager Todd Gordon said he felt 'anger' after watching the viral video showing the cyclists getting hit.

Many people in the cycling community are still in shock after a viral video showed a car running over a cyclist near dfw airport. Those who ride say this a reminder to share the roads.

"That impact is more than just physical trauma, it stays with you," described Gordon.

He became emotional since on Memorial Day weekend two of his athletes were hit.

"It does make me a little emotional, primarily because you know, we get a lot of good vibes, good feelings when we go out and ride especially when we ride together. It's a fellowship, it's a community, it's spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically good for us," said Gordon.

He said he's biked on the DFW Airport loop where the crash happened and said it's a popular route for cyclists because of the long stretch of roadway.

Aside from cars, he said since their wheels are so thin, even a small crack in the road could have major implications causing them to crash.

Traveling in groups is a way to stay safe and look out for each other. Gordon said they use safety measures like lights, different technology and cameras to do their best to stay safe. Ultimately, he said it's a group effort for everyone who travels on the road.

"Community come together. There's, no reason why we can't share the road. There's no reason why cars can't be respectful of bikes, and bikers to be respectful of traffic signals and other things like that, but there's no reason that I can think of why we can't share the road," said Gordon.

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