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Legendary actor Gene Hackman hit by car while biking

The man who portrayed evil mastermind Lex Luther in the blockbuster Superman movies was struck down by a car yesterday. Authorities say that Oscar-winning actor Gene Hackman was riding a bike in the Florida Keys when he was struck from behind by the car. It is unclear why the car hit the actor, which happened around 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Accident investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash.

Initial reports of the bike accident portrayed the 81-year-old actor as gravely injured. Early reports even claimed that the actor had suffered a head injury, which is not uncommon in pedestrian or cycling crashes. Cyclists are among the most vulnerable people on area roads and typically sustain serious personal injuries in similar crashes.

A police sergeant said that the actor suffered injuries to his body and legs and that he was airlifted to a trauma center in Miami. Fortunately a spokeswoman for the actor said that the reports regarding Hackman’s injuries were overblown.

“Gene Hackman was taken to a hospital for routine tests after being bumped from behind while riding his bike today in the Keys,” the spokeswoman said. “He’s suffered minor bumps and bruises and is already on his way home.”

It is unclear why the actor was flown to a trauma center if he only sustained “minor bumps and bruises” and it is unclear whether the spokeswoman is intentionally downplaying the actor’s injuries.

Hackman’s career started in 1956 when he joined the Pasadena Playhouse. He has since scored prominent roles in films such as 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, 1971’s French Connection, and 1988’s Mississippi Burning.

Source: Daily Mail, “Gene Hackman, 81, flown to hospital with body and leg injuries after being hit by car while cycling,” Mike Larkin, Jan. 16, 2012

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