East Texas triathlete determined to bounce back after major injury

After being hit by a truck as he was training, a professional triathlete from Marshall is determined to recover and get back to competing.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 3:35 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A rising star in the triathlete world is recovering tonight after he and a friend were hit by a pickup truck while on their bicycles.

On Wednesday, professional triathlete Elliot Bach, of Marshall, and a friend were doing cycling training along FM 449 between Hallsville and Marshall, when the pair was struck from behind by a pickup. Bach suffered season-ending injuries and is now at a hospital in Tyler.

The scene was frantic on Wednesday, as life-flight arrived to take Bach to a hospital after the two were hit.

“When we came to, we both couldn’t move. We weren’t sure what was wrong. I started seeing white, and somebody got there right away,” Elliot said.

Somehow Elliot said, “SIRI, call dad.”

“You get that call, and they say your son’s been in an accident. It’s scary,” said Elliot’s father, Nathan Bach.

Elliot’s friend had relatively minor injuries, but there was bad news for him: broken ribs, a fractured collar bone, damaged vertebrae, punctured lung, and, most significant, damaged tendons in his left knee.

“Depends on whether I’m going to have surgery on the knee. I’ve had some setbacks in my career, but nothing like this. This is going to be a long road to recovery, a couple of months minimum,” he said.

“He’s really coming into his career and his skill level, so we’re hoping and praying he can get back at it,” said sister Olivia Ponce.

There are numerous events now that he won’t compete in.

“Going from super active to basically bedridden -- I don’t like it,” Elliot said.

“He just won his first pro race. It’s obviously very disappointing. He’s come into this year with a lot of potential,” Nathan said.

But, don’t bet against him.

“We’re just happy he’s alive. He does not give up,” said Nathan.

“I’m hard-headed. I’m going to be back! I’ll be back stronger than ever,” said Elliot.

His family said Elliot will have surgery on his collar bone and knee.

The accident report is not yet available from DPS in Harrison County, so it’s not known whether the driver was cited or charged.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help pay for Bach’s medical bills; you can find it by clicking here.