A representative for the 'Royal Tenenbaums' star assures that the actor suffers only minor bumps and bruises, clarifying reports that he had to be airlifted to a trauma center due to head injuries.
Contrary to earlier reports, Gene Hackman suffers no serious injuries after being struck from behind by a car while riding his bike in the Florida Keys on Friday, January 13. In fact, a spokeswoman for the Little Bill Daggett in "Unforgiven" revealed that the actor is "already on his way home" from the hospital.
Giving updates on the 81-year-old actor post-accident, publicist Susan Madore told New York Daily News, "He's fine, everything is okay. It was just minor bumps and bruises." She went on to note, "I spoke to his wife. My understanding is that he was bumped from behind by someone in their car."
Offering similar statement over Hackman's non-life threatening injuries was Sgt. Tom Pikul of the Florida Highway Patrol. He slammed early reports that suggested the actor suffered head injuries because of the accident, before stating that "he was conscious when he was airlifted. He was stable and in good condition."
According to Pikul, Hackman was riding alone on the Old Highway when he was bumped from behind. The officer explained, "It's an off-road area. Sort of a side road. It's not a fast thoroughfare at all." Madore added that the actor needed to be airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami because the incident happened on an island.
First to bring up news of Hackman's accident was TMZ. The gossip site reported that the Academy Award winner was hit by a car at around 3:00 P.M. local time, and needed to be airlifted to a trauma center because he sustained "injuries to his head and body". The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.
Hackman has won two Oscars throughout his career, one for a lead role in 1971's "The French Connection" and the other for a supporting part in 1992's "Unforgiven". He famously portrayed Lex Luthor in 1978's "Superman". His more recent big screen appearances included "The Royal Tenenbaums", "Behind Enemy Lines" and "Welcome to Mooseport".