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Drunk driver with six empty beer cans in SUV rams two cyclists, before driving over stricken rider, in shocking hit-and-run in Texas

The driver has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and driving while intoxicated, as cyclists call the incident “attempted murder”

A drink driver with half a dozen empty beer cans in his vehicle who rammed into the back of two cyclists, before using his SUV to run over one of the cyclists as they lay on the ground after the impact, has been arrested and charged in Texas, as cyclists have labelled the incident “attempted murder”.

31-year-old Benjamin Hylander was driving a white Subaru near the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Texas on Monday when he came across a group of cyclists riding at 30km/hr in the right lane of Airfield Drive around the airport, a popular place for group rides.

A shocking video captured by one of the members of the group ride shows the driver come up behind the riders at 60km/hr and ram two cyclists who were riding at the back, and then drive over 69-year-old Thomas Geppert, one of the fallen cyclists.

*Warning: Some may find the footage upsetting, viewer discretion advised*

Geppert was transported to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Grapevine with a severe laceration, and a CT scan also revealed that he suffered a concussion. The other victim, 65-year-old Deborah Eads was treated at the scene for a severe laceration, reports CBS News.

“All of a sudden, something pushes me from behind,” Geppert, who suffered fractured rib and injuries to his hamstring, said. “Then I could feel myself falling from the right, and then that's pretty much the last thing I remember.”

“I was unconscious for a number of minutes. I guess some people thought I wasn't breathing. [I was] Just so lucky it happened to be my thigh, and I think the bike kind of elevated the car a little bit.”

“Just overall amazingly lucky that I'm still alive,” he added, saying he’s grateful that he can still walk.

> Shocking footage of Florida collision shows moment group ride hit by driver of SUV

The other cyclists followed Hylander, an American Airlines employee, to a Shell petrol station and told him to come back to the crash. After returning to the scene, the police report states that tried to rush toward the emergency medical crews who were treating Geppert, with officers having to pull him back.

Hylander admitted to drinking alcohol before driving, with a breathalyser test showing his blood alcohol concentration as over the minimum threshold DWI charge of 0.15. Investigators later found six empty cans of Voodoo Ranger Juice Force from a backpack in the SUV and two cans of Coors Light in the grass near Hylander's vehicle.

He is currently in custody at the Tarrant County Corrections Center, charged with two counts of intoxication assault with a vehicle, one count of accident involving injury, and one count of driving while intoxicated. His employer is listed as American Airlines. American Airlines also said that the carrier decided on Wednesday that Hylander would be withheld from service.

The news comes just six months after Illinois Supreme Court declared that cyclists were "only permitted users of the road, not intended", sending many cyclists in America into a state of shock and disbelief, who blasted the decision as "asinine" and "backwards".

> Texas teen who ran over six cyclists charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon

Just yesterday, we reported that road safety campaigners in Chicago worryingly claimed it was “just a matter of time before one of us is killed biking”, after three volunteers from the Bike Lane Uprising campaign were injured after being hit by drivers — all while either going to or returning from events about cycling safety.

And a day before that, a new video emerged showing a pick-up truck driver who drove into a group of 20 cyclists in Phoenix, Arizona, leaving two dead and 11 injured, sobbing on the phone with his partner, while call records also showed that he didn’t dial 911 after the crash.

One of the cyclists involved in the crash was Clay Wells, an experienced cyclist who was the most severely injured out of everyone and spent more than 80 days at the medical facility.

When asked if he felt the system had failed him, after the county attorney refused to  pursue felony charges because there was “not enough evidence”, he said: “I feel like the County Attorney’s office failed us.

“If you read the NTSB report, I don’t understand how there is any way possible you could not argue, at least to a presiding judge, to go forward that you couldn’t prove recklessness, especially those video links… of him getting on his phone, Snapchatting.”

Earlier this year, road.cc obtained shocking footage showing a 77-year-old driver of an SUV on the wrong side of the road in Florida "well-above the speed limit" and disoriented for "unknown reasons" going head-on into a group of eight cyclists, injuring seven with two in critical condition.

The cyclists, much similar to this incident from Dallas, Texas, were riding two abreast at the break of dawn in Palm Beach County, Florida on a two-lane road with no hard shoulder and a 35mph speed limit. They were headed north when suddenly, the driver came at them head-on from the opposite side in the wrong lane and went straight ahead with her Kia Soul without slowing down.

Florida driver hits group of cyclists

> "Come pedal in our shoes for a day and see what we experience": Cyclists urge safety action after driver smashes into group ride in shocking collision

Following the crash, cyclists from Florida made an emotional plea for urgent measures to improve road safety. One of the riders involved, Cameron Oster, said: “There's no bike lane. There's no shoulder. There's not even unpaved run-off. So if you ride your bike within six inches of the white line on the shoulder of the road, your arm will actually hit branches that are hanging over that white shoulder line.”

Another member of the Florida Share the Road Coalition (FSRC), Richard Gertler, said he had been hit before and called on the campaign to “humanise” cyclists because “all too often a driver will start yelling" as “we're not people to them [...] just an obstacle”.

“Come pedal in our shoes for a day and see what we experience,” he said. “We're people. We're somebody's mother, father, son, daughter.”

In 2021, a teenager crashed into a group of six cyclists in Texas after allegedly ‘rolling coal’ at them, and was later charged with six counts of felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Before crashing into the group of cyclists who were training for IronMan Texas, the 16-year-old had reportedly blown at them black smoke on purpose from the modified exhaust of a black Ford F-250 pick-up truck, owned by his parents Jason and Jennifer Arnold.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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71 comments

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OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
5 likes

The US scores poorly on road safety, with around 4x as many deaths in road crashes/head of population than the UK. Some states are worse than others and the rule of thumb is that the further south you are, the worse it is. Texas has the worst record for DUI of any US state according to the official NHTSA data. New York state is actually one of the safest.

In European countries road deaths dropped during the COVID 19 pandemic due to the effect of lockdowns meaning fewer road journeys, which is pretty much as you'd expect. In the US though, road deaths actually increased during COVID 19 and it seems many drivers took the opportunity given by quieter roads to speed more and drink and drive more. It's of note that since cannabis use became legalised in some states such as California and Oregon, the statistics on drivers having crashes while being under the influence has increased.  

I do travel to the US regularly for work (1-2 times/year) and I drive cars there, ride motorbikes sometimes and also cycle. 

 

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dh700 replied to OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
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OldRidgeback wrote:

The US scores poorly on road safety, with around 4x as many deaths in road crashes/head of population than the UK.

You neglected to note that the United States sees an order of magnitude more vehicle miles traveled than the United Kingdom does.

It's almost as though the transport systems on a tiny little island and an entire Continent are not directly comparable.  Who'd a thunk.

 

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LeadenSkies replied to dh700 | 1 month ago
6 likes

Admittedly the latest figures I have seen from 2010 but vehicle related death rate quoted for the US was over twice that of the UK per vehicle driven mile and six times that of the UK per head of population. Has that changed in the last decade and a half?

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Rendel Harris replied to LeadenSkies | 1 month ago
7 likes

In 2022 in the US there were 13 road deaths per billion miles travelled, in the UK in the same year 5 per billion.

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dh700 replied to LeadenSkies | 1 month ago
0 likes
LeadenSkies wrote:

Admittedly the latest figures I have seen from 2010 but vehicle related death rate quoted for the US was over twice that of the UK per vehicle driven mile and six times that of the UK per head of population. Has that changed in the last decade and a half?

Per capita is still meaningless, which was part of my point.

The per-VMT rates do compare as you describe -- largely because the US has a massive network of rural highways and similar roads, that are by-far the most dangerous type of road -- due to 55 to 75mph limits and only a line of paint between opposing traffic.  Specifically, the US has about 3 million miles of such roads, which are necessary to span a country that is 40 times the size of the UK.  By way of comparison, the entire UK road network is only 262,000 miles.

Again, as I believe I said, it's almost as though the transport systems on a tiny little island and an entire Continent are not directly comparable. 

 

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Rendel Harris replied to dh700 | 1 month ago
8 likes
dh700 wrote:

Again, as I believe I said, it's almost as though the transport systems on a tiny little island and an entire Continent are not directly comparable.

Let's compare an entire continent then (by the way you are aware that the USA is not an entire continent?): road deaths in Europe per billion miles, six, still less than half that in the USA. Look forward to seeing you moving the goalposts again to explain why this is not relevant. Don't forget to be rude and patronising at the same time.

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dh700 replied to Rendel Harris | 1 month ago
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Rendel Harris wrote:

(by the way you are aware that the USA is not an entire continent?)

And are you aware that the US has over a hundred land border crossings to Canada, and another 50 to the South?  How many roads lead into the UK?  Having not only been to New York, but born there, I am aware of the threat posed by, for example, Quebecois truckers hauling to and through, with little to no concern for whatever lay in their path.  Paying special concern to those trucks used to be part of the driving curriculum in NY, and it might still be.

Rendel Harris wrote:

: road deaths in Europe per billion miles, six, still less than half that in the USA. Look forward to seeing you moving the goalposts again to explain why this is not relevant.

 

If you think Europe is a small island, I suggest that you're well out of your depth here.

 

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Rendel Harris replied to dh700 | 1 month ago
5 likes
dh700 wrote:

If you think Europe is a small island, I suggest that you're well out of your depth here.

You said you couldn't compare statistics for a tiny island (in point of fact Great Britain is the ninth largest island in the world, so not that tiny, but that by-the-by) with those for the USA, so I gave you the comparison for the USA against the whole continent of Europe, showing that USA deaths per billion miles are more than double. On the back of that you accuse me of thinking that Europe is a small island? If I were out of my depth, which I'm not, sooner that than out of my mind.

 

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dh700 replied to Rendel Harris | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

You said you couldn't compare statistics for a tiny island (in point of fact Great Britain is the ninth largest island in the world, so not that tiny, but that by-the-by) with those for the USA, so I gave you the comparison for the USA against the whole continent of Europe, showing that USA deaths per billion miles are more than double. 

 

Now find where I commented about the suitability of Europe as a comparison.  You won't, because I did not.

That said, let's address that question for the entertainment of viewers and your education.  The EU's population density is triple that of the United States.  And the EU GNP per capita is about 75% of the United States.  The end result being vastly less car ownership -- both by choice and by necessity -- and a transport system that is very much not necessarily directly comparable the United States', for those, and other reasons.

 

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mattw replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

200+ roads between the UK and Ireland across the border.

The number of trucks entering the UK is not that much different from those entering the US across the Canadian and Mexican border each year.

Makes sense if you consider that the UK GDP is within 15% or so of the combined GDPs of Canada and Mexico, and Mexico has other land borders.

Plus of course most trucks coming here are driven habitually on the other side of the road, and are Left Hand Drive.

Yet our roads are mssively safer than the killing zones they have in the USA.

I wonder what happened?

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dh700 replied to mattw | 4 weeks ago
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mattw wrote:

Makes sense if you consider that the UK GDP is within 15% or so of the combined GDPs of Canada and Mexico, and Mexico has other land borders.

You neglected to realize that the US GDP is just shy of an order of magnitude greater than the United Kingdom's. In fact, the US' annual imports are almost exactly a match for the entire UK economy.

 

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OldRidgeback replied to dh700 | 3 weeks ago
2 likes
dh700 wrote:
Rendel Harris wrote:

(by the way you are aware that the USA is not an entire continent?)

And are you aware that the US has over a hundred land border crossings to Canada, and another 50 to the South?  How many roads lead into the UK?  Having not only been to New York, but born there, I am aware of the threat posed by, for example, Quebecois truckers hauling to and through, with little to no concern for whatever lay in their path.  Paying special concern to those trucks used to be part of the driving curriculum in NY, and it might still be.

Rendel Harris wrote:

: road deaths in Europe per billion miles, six, still less than half that in the USA. Look forward to seeing you moving the goalposts again to explain why this is not relevant.

 

If you think Europe is a small island, I suggest that you're well out of your depth here.

 

Canada's road death is about half that of the US. And Canada has the same issues of not much public transport, long roads in rural areas of questionable quality and a reliance on motor transport. There's some interesting information on the WHO website. Get this, there were more road deaths in North Carolina (pop 10.6 million as I recall) in 2021 (just over 1,700) than there were in the UK (pop 67 million, with just over 1500 road deaths). 

I've been to NC many times. It's a pretty state in Spring and Autumn in particular. But the drivers.....

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RDaneel replied to Rendel Harris | 4 weeks ago
2 likes
Rendel Harris wrote:

 Don't forget to be rude and patronising at the same time.

dh700 shoots.........he scores!!!! Goooooaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll!
The traditional pub bore is more bearable than our Yankee cousin here. 
 

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dh700 replied to RDaneel | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
RDaneel wrote:

dh700 shoots.........he scores!!!! Goooooaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll!
The traditional pub bore is more bearable than our Yankee cousin here. 

I suppose that you were referring to the request for rudeness, which is ironic since you were forced to take that sad route, while I was not.

Perhaps the reason that y'all are so completely uninformed on this topic is that you're spending far too much time listening to (or being) drunks in pubs, and not to the people who can learn you something?

 

 

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mdavidford replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
4 likes
dh700 wrote:

far too much time listening being drunks in pubs

No such thing.

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 4 weeks ago
2 likes
mdavidford wrote:
dh700 wrote:

far too much time listening being drunks in pubs

No such thing.

But doesn't that cut into quality cycling / coffee and cake time?

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

That's just an opportunity for pre-loading.

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 4 weeks ago
3 likes

Points for hydration.  But cycling, so there's always demand for lighter and more aero.  So as long as you can find some mixer along the way perhaps a concentrated version of the same (wine here but that could be upgraded in the same form factor)?  Plus a classic style:

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perce replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

I think the only thing you could '' learn'' me is how to be condescending and rude. Anyway, on another thread I thought you said you were going. Please do.

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dh700 replied to perce | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
perce wrote:

I think the only thing you could '' learn'' me is how to be condescending and rude. Anyway, on another thread I thought you said you were going. Please do.

Well, if you're unable to learn, I'm sure that's a problem that you'll eventually need to deal with.  Good luck with that.

 

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perce replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
4 likes

Not a problem for me. Thanks anyway.

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RDaneel replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
1 like
dh700 wrote:
RDaneel wrote:

dh700 shoots.........he scores!!!! Goooooaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllll!
The traditional pub bore is more bearable than our Yankee cousin here. 

I suppose that you were referring to the request for rudeness, which is ironic since you were forced to take that sad route, while I was not.

Perhaps the reason that y'all are so completely uninformed on this topic is that you're spending far too much time listening to (or being) drunks in pubs, and not to the people who can learn you something?

Are you related to Colin from Portsmouth? You seem very similar...anyway love to the family. 

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dh700 replied to RDaneel | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
RDaneel wrote:

Are you related to Colin from Portsmouth? You seem very similar...anyway love to the family. 

Yes -- because we're all related, if you go back far enough.

Some of my ancestors got the hell out of England about four hundred years ago, so I likely do have some relations left behind.

 

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RDaneel replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
4 likes
dh700 wrote:

Yes -- because we're all related, if you go back far enough.

Some of my ancestors got the hell out of England about four hundred years ago, so I likely do have some relations left behind.

Left or kicked out for being insufferable fuckwaffles? My bets on the latter. 

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dh700 replied to RDaneel | 4 weeks ago
0 likes
RDaneel wrote:

Left or kicked out for being insufferable fuckwaffles? My bets on the latter. 

So, just to be clear then, you've absolutely nothing to contribute to this adult discussion except pathetically-childish namecalling?

Roight.

If you grow up, you may learn how to comport yourself in an adult conversation.  Good luck with both.

 

 

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perce replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Nothing to contribute either I'm afraid.I'm still recovering from last nights session in the Pot 'n' Kettle comporting myself silly with some drunks I'd just met. 

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Dnnnnnn replied to dh700 | 1 month ago
4 likes
dh700 wrote:

You neglected to note that the United States sees an order of magnitude more vehicle miles traveled than the United Kingdom does.

As far as I can see, the average car does twice the annual mileage in the US vs. the UK. There are more of them too - car ownership is about 50% higher. That accounts for a lot of the difference - but certainly not all. Canada might be a slightly better comparator - but the US road death rate is still almost 3x higher relative to population.

And surely the bottom line is that >40,000 dying on the roads each year (or about 1 million in this century, a quarter of them aged under 25) is really not OK?

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dh700 replied to Dnnnnnn | 1 month ago
0 likes
Dnnnnnn wrote:

And surely the bottom line is that >40,000 dying on the roads each year (or about 1 million in this century, a quarter of them aged under 25) is really not OK?

I never said otherwise.  That said, we have no reference to show that it is possible to operate a transport system across a country like the US with substantially fewer deaths.  It probably is, but humans have not done so yet.

 

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Dnnnnnn replied to dh700 | 4 weeks ago
3 likes
dh700 wrote:

we have no reference to show that it is possible to operate a transport system across a country like the US with substantially fewer deaths.

Here's one place to start.

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chrisonabike replied to Dnnnnnn | 4 weeks ago
2 likes

I doubt that will satisfy anyone!  France has better death rate stats than the US (by population OR per distance travelled).  India and China are worse - OTOH perhaps there are some issues with exactly what's reported in certain places?

Americans drive a lot more than those in the UK on average - but not that much more than those in Iceland apparently where those fatality numbers are quite a bit better.

However I do think they're protesting too much.  The US has a different balance of built environments compare to e.g. UK and some specific features that are unique or more prevalent there - zoning laws and development patterns are a thing.  However they also have urban environments similar to other places.

As for "but the US is big / lots of roads" well ... looking across the globe size of place or even population density doesn't particularly correlate with road traffic death rates.

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