Ellen Watters, a 28-year-old Canadian who signed with Colavita-Bianchi for 2017, has died as a result of injuries sustained in a collision with a motor vehicle that occurred on December 23 while she was training near Sussex, New Brunswick. In an update on Facebook, Watters' family said she had no brain function on Tuesday.
"Because of the manner of her passing, she is a candidate for organ donations. The silver lining of this tragic time is that she is able to bring hope and motivation to even more people," the statement read. "We hope that we can channel some of Ellen's fantastic energy, and use it to improve the safety conditions for cyclists on our roadways.We would ask everyone to spread awareness of the necessity of cyclist advocacy, and to contact their local politicians to help get changes made."
"I want to thank everyone for the stupendous outpouring of support which have been sent to Ellen Watters, and to our family," a previous update read, according to Cycling Canada. "The love, strength and joy which Ellen has always shared around her have come rushing right back to her. I couldn’t be more grateful for all the support which her family has received from dear friends, and from all of the cycling community."
This season proved to be a break-out year for Watters, according to the Cycling Canada statement. Watters won the pro/am event at the Tour of the Battenkill as well as the Tour of Sommerville. She was invited to take part in the Canadian National Team project in August, winning a Kermesse in Belgium on August 18. She signed for the US-based Colavita-Bianchi team for 2017and was invited to be a part-time member of the Canadian women’s development program.
“Ellen Watters is only beginning to make her mark on international cycling and we all have been very excited to see how far she will go in the sport,” said Cycling Canada High Performance Director and Head Coach Jacques Landry. “On behalf of the Canadian cycling community, we would like to extend our deepest and utmost support to her family and friends in this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe page that has been set up to help Watters’ family members with their expenses has raised over $15,000.