May 10, 2017 (Sussex, NB) – No criminal charges will be brought forward following the death of professional road cyclist Ellen Watters (Colavita/Bianchi) reports CBC. Watters, 28, was critically injured in late December after being hit by a motor vehicle during a training ride near her home town, and passed away a few days later.
The news ironically comes within days of the New Brunswick legislature unanimously passing an amendment to the Motor Vehicle code called “Ellen’s Law” that requires motorists to ensure a safe passing distance when overtaking cyclists. Read Pedal’s report here.
Watters, who previously rode for Ottawa-based The Cyclery-Opus, notably distinguished herself in 2016 winning the Tour of the Battenkill and Tour of Somerville in the U.S., as well as claiming bronze in the Criterium at the Canadian Road Championships.
Apart from her riding prowess, Watters was well-liked and known for her antics. The Cyclery’s directeur sportif, Chris Reid, described her unique style, engaging smile, optimistic attitude and amazing persona. In late 2016, Watters signed with US-based Colavita/Bianchi for the 2017 season. Her death provoked tribute actions across Canada as well as calls for the legislation now called #Ellenslaw.
Watters told CBC earlier in 2016 that there are risks involved with road cycling. Ellen also told her mother, Nancy, that if she “had to die for the roads to be safer for other cyclists, then [she] would be OK with that,” according to CBC. Read CBC’s report here.