Injured fan requests visit from Kliff

Pictured: Robert Bybee
Pictured: Robert Bybee

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Robert Bybee was a DPS state trooper for 25 years, and then became the Lorenzo Chief of Police - but now, this 65-year-old Lorenzo native goes by another title.

“I'm a number one Tech fan,” Bybee said. “I appreciate them and back them up all the way I can.”

Supporting the Red Raiders is something he has always done. He has had season tickets for nine years, and cannot wait for this football season to start.

“Texas Tech has always been like a home to me,” he said.

However, this season, he's going to hold his guns up a little differently.

The Friday the Thirteenth accident last June is still a vivid memory.

Bybee was driving on Slide Road and saw his daughter had been in a wreck. Like any concerned father, he pulled over and ran to her car, but she had already been taken by ambulance with a mild concussion.

And that is when it happened - the last thing Bybee, a traffic safety expert, ever expected.

“I turned around and headed back to my car,” he said, “and a car hit me in the turning lane”

“I see her get out of the car and I yelled, ‘You're stopped on my leg, you're stopped on my leg!’” Bybee said. “So she finally got back in and so she finally got back in and backed up off my leg. I'm glad I wasn't passed out dead, because I knew I was hurt. I said, 'Uh oh, I think I broke my right arm and leg', because I could feel it hurting pretty bad.”

That was only half of his injuries, though. In fact, Bybee broke both his arms and legs.

“When they first put my casts on they were soft cast,” he said, “and I could scratch my ears and everything. Now, I can't do anything.”

Which is why his daughter - Tracie Harvill - rushed to his side after the wreck and has been there ever since, even to recommend cast colors.

“Why wouldn't he want red and black?” Harvill said. “I go to get him clothes to wear and he has got a whole closet full of nothing but Tech shirts.”

Bybee is currently staying at the Lubbock Hospitality Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Slide Road. His contagious smile may have people fooled about his long road to recovery.

“It's really hard,” he said, “especially when I started my therapy and everything.”

But there's a special remedy - or a special someone - who can make it all better: a visit from his favorite coach, Kliff Kingsbury.

“I just think that's real great,” Bybee said, “the way he does and everything.”

So Harvill took action.

“I said, ‘Let’s take your picture and put it on Facebook,” Harvill said. “First thing he did was, you know, [guns up], like that.”

Now, the spur of the moment idea just might work.

“It's gone crazy,” Harvill said. “I mean, that one page, we have almost 1,500 likes and people sharing it and everything, and I never thought it would get that big.”

Bybee wanted to send this message to Kliff Kingsbury, if he happened to be reading:

“I left this whole black one to put the white on there,” Bybee said, “so if he happed to be going down Slide Road and didn't have nothing to do, come in here and sign my cast and I'd make them cut it off where it wouldn't break it off. That would be something pretty neat.”

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