Police trying to establish cicrcumstances leading to Oscar winner being struck on quiet road

Actor Gene Hackman, a double Oscar winner for his roles in The French Connection and Unforgiven, was yesterday airlifted to hospital in Miami after being struck by a car while cycling in the Florida Keys.

The 81-year-old’s injuries are said to be non-life-threatening, with the New York Daily News reporting that his publicist Susan Madore said that evacuation from the scene by helicopter was more to do with the island location rather than the seriousness of his condition.

"He’s fine, everything is okay,” she said. “It was just minor bumps and bruises. He’s already on his way home. I spoke to his wife. My understanding is that he was bumped from behind by someone in their car.”

Sergeant Tom Pikul of the Florida Highway Patrol, denying earlier reports that Hackman had sustained head injuries,  told the New York Daily News:

“He was conscious when he was airlifted. He was stable and in good condition.”

Referring to the location where the incident took place, a road called the Old Highway, Sgt. Pikul said: "It’s an off-road area. Sort of a side road. It's not a fast thoroughfare at all."

Police enquiries are continuing.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.