A longtime Waco oral surgeon, Dr. J. Don Lance, died Monday after being struck in the parking lot of Bird-Kultgen Ford on April 20 by an employee of the dealership driving an SUV, according to the Waco Police Department.
Lance, 77, suffered head injuries in the collision and was transported by ambulance to Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
Waco attorney John Mabry, who is representing the Lance family, said it is his understanding Lance had remained in the hospital since being injured. The Lance family declined comment, and the hospital would confirm only that Lance had died.
Swanton, citing a police report prepared by responding officers, said Lance suffered “significant injuries, including head injuries and possible facial fractures. He was in critical condition.”
He said Lance was walking in the parking lot of the dealership about 8:15 a.m. April 20, “when two Bird-Kultgen employees in a Ford Expedition were opening the gates to the dealership grounds. As the vehicle was backing through the parking lot, he was knocked to the ground. He was unconscious when EMS arrived on the scene.”
Peter Kultgen, who oversees the family-owned dealership, said he would have no comment on the incident.
Mabry said Lance had driven his vehicle to Bird-Kultgen for servicing that morning. He said Lance had practiced oral surgery locally for “several decades” and had continued to work as a consultant in the field after his retirement.
“At this point, we are simply investigating the matter on behalf of the Lance family,” Mabry said. “We hope to receive the cooperation of Bird-Kultgen and its insurance carrier, and we will see where that takes us. Bird-Kultgen is a staple of this community and run by fine people. But again, it all depends on their insurance company, which I’m sure will have input on how this matter is settled.”
Bird-Kultgen can trace its founding to 1936. In 1993, it became the first car lot to relocate to W. Loop 340, which has become known as Waco’s “Motor Mile.”