New Brunswick

Rising N.B. cycling star severely injured in collision

Family and friends are rallying around Sussex-area cyclist Ellen Watters, who was severely injured after being struck by a car during a bike ride while home for the holidays.

RCMP say collision with vehicle occurred Dec. 23 at around 2:30 p.m.

New Brunswick's Ellen Watters (centre) appears on the podium after winning the Tour of the Battenkill in 2016. (Cyclery Racing)

Family and friends are rallying around a Sussex-area cyclist who was severely injured last week while out for a ride. 

Ellen Watters, 28, originally from Apohaqui, N.B., was struck by a car Dec. 23 during a bike ride while home for the holidays. 

RCMP Sgt. André Pepin said conditions were sunny and clear when the collision occurred around 2:30 p.m.

Pepin said Watters and the Volkswagen Golf were travelling in the same direction on Riverview Drive East in Lower Cove. Watters was taken to hospital with serious injuries. 

No charges have been laid.

Watters, who now lives in Ottawa, is a member of the Cyclery Opus racing team. Her friend, roommate and training partner, Emily Flynn, booked a plane ticket to be by her side. The pair first met in 2013 at a Cycling Canada training camp in South Carolina. 

"I flew out here on Christmas Day because I knew I had to be with her," said Flynn.

Flynn said when she was battling a collarbone injury, Watters was there by her side. "I knew if the roles were reversed, she would be with me, too." 

Flynn said she spent every moment she could in hospital with Watters, who remained in serious condition. Flynn said she was sure her friend knew she was there.

"I've watched her come back in races," she said. "She's definitely a fighter and if anyone could pull through, it would be her."

Flynn said Watters was just completing a stellar year with several wins and a new contract with a professional cycling team.

Emily Flynn (left) flew to New Brunswick to be with Watters (right) in the hospital. (Emily Flynn)

"This was kind of her breakout year," she said. "She won the Tour of Battenkill in the States, the Tour of Somerville, another pretty large race in the States."

Just prior to returning home for Christmas, Flynn said Watters was in California to train with Team Canada's talent development program.

"That was another very large step up and something she was very excited about," she said.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help ease the financial burden for her family. Nearly 150 people have more than doubled the $5,000 goal set by organizers.

Flynn said it's no surprise so many people have supported Watters both financially and by reaching out online.  

"Ellen puts so much love and joy and energy into the world." she said. "It's no surprise that she's getting all of this back."