No charges in cycling death of Ellen Watters, say RCMP
Insufficient evidence to lay charges after Watters, 28, was struck by a car in Sussex in December
No criminal charges will be laid in the death of Canadian competitive cyclist Ellen Watters, who was struck by a car in Sussex, N.B., last December, say RCMP.
"It was determined that there's not sufficient evidence to support any charges," Sgt. Jim MacPherson told CBC News on Monday.
"This decision was made in consultation with the Crown prosecutors, who concurred charges were not warranted in this case," he said.
Watters, 28, was critically injured in a collision with a car during a training ride in the town on Dec. 23 while home for the holidays. She died four days later.
Her mother could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.
The news comes just days after the New Brunswick Legislature passed Ellen's Law, which will require drivers of cars and trucks to give cyclists a metre of clearance.
Cyclists lobbied for the legislation, aimed at protecting the safety of cyclists, following Watters's death.
MacPherson declined to discuss what charges were being contemplated.
The file was in the hands of prosecutors for "at least two months," he said.
"The investigation took some time because there was a technical aspect to it," said MacPherson.
"We had an accident reconstructionist look at all the information and he has to prepare a report and when we get that report back, we include that in our investigation," he said.
Watters, who was originally from Apohaqui, N.B., and lived in Ottawa, was an advocate of better laws to protect cyclists on the roads.
In a July 2016 interview with CBC Radio's Shift, Watters acknowledged the dangers associated with the sport.
"There are crashes," she said. "Sometimes, there are major crashes. I have definitely hit the deck a few times, but I have been lucky enough to get back up."
According to Watters's mother, the cyclist once said that if she "had to die for the roads to be safer for other cyclists, then [she] would be OK with that."
Watters was widely hailed as a rising star in Canadian cycling.
In the spring of 2016, she won first place in the Kugler-Anderson Tour of Somerville, an 80.5-km race held in New Jersey on Memorial Day. In October, she signed a contract with the Union Cycliste Internationale women's team Colavita/Bianchi for the 2017 season.