Several Island cyclists organized a special bike ride Sunday evening along the Rennies Road to draw awareness to road safety for cyclists after a 63-year-old Alberta woman was struck by a motorist as she was biking in the area Saturday.
Elizabeth Ann Sovis of Edmonton was bicycling with her partner when she was struck by a van. She was riding on the pavement. There was no paved shoulder.
Local residents say she landed about 50 metres from where the van hit her.
The driver fled the scene at first, then later returned.
Clarence Arnold Moase, 49, Kensington was charged with impaired driving causing death.
The organizers of the bike ride said they wanted to show support for the woman's family and to demonstrate some of the safety concerns faced by Island cyclists.
Kris Taylor is a member of Cycling PEI and he organized the ride. He said he believes drinking and driving was the main factor in the fatality, but he also believes the road could be safer for cyclists.
"I actually was on a committee about 10 years ago to get a shoulder on Route 13 from Hunter River to Cavendish. It does not have a shoulder. And I see kids on the road all the time going to their summer jobs."
"But the problem was it's money and it's asking people for a bit of their front lawn and that type of thing and we tried. Maybe an incident like this will spark that on again," he said.
Taylor believes a shoulder could have made the difference between life and death in this case.
Carole MacMillan agrees. She runs the New Glasgow Inn, where Sovis was supposed to stay.
"The traffic is so fast, the roads are so narrow," she said.
MacMillan spoke to Sovis' partner after the crash, who has now returned to Edmonton with Sovis' remains.
"He was distraught, but he was holding it together and he was on his way home to three sons who were waiting."
Moase will remain in jail until he appears before a judge in Charlottetown next Monday.