2016 Tour of Somerville Winner Dies 4 Days After Collision with Car in Canada

cc246715aedea2816603_sompixtourofsomervilleellenwaters2016.jpg
Ellen Watters crosses the finish line to win the 2016 Tour of Somerville Women's Professional race.
848bf846a3d222fa49dc_sompixellenwatters2.jpg
Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters succumbed to injuries received in a collision with a car in the province of New Brunswick.
b19f4899f6e075c35fee_sompixtourofsomervilleellenwatters2016.jpeg
A photo of Ellen Watters from her Facebook page.
cc246715aedea2816603_sompixtourofsomervilleellenwaters2016.jpg

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Canadian cyclist Ellen Watters, winner of the 2016 Tour of Somerville Pro Women’s Race, has died after a collision with a car in the province of New Brunswick where she grew up.

Watters, 28, had returned to her hometown from her residence in Ottawa to be with family for the Christmas holiday. She was cycling on a rural roadway when the collision occurred two days prior to Christmas, according to the Royal Mounted Canadian Police.

Watters died in a local hospital four days later.

Sign Up for E-News

Before her flight from Ottawa to New Brunswick, Watters posted this message on Instagram:

An early Christmas gift: being an #Altitude
member and not having baggage or bike fees! Thanks @AirCanada and #bikeracing.

Watters and the car involved in the collision were traveling in the same direction; the motorist has been interviewed, and the investigation is continuing, according to the RCMP. No charges have been filed.

Watter’s family posted the following statement on social media:

“It’s very difficult to find the right way to share news that is so important and so terrible for so many people. Ellen no longer had any brain function when the excellent and very kind doctors examined her this afternoon. She was surrounded by family, and so many dear friends, over the past few days, and has received more support than I could have imagined.

“Ellen was truly an awesome force. Everyone who knew Ellen was better off for it. She shared joy with everyone she knew, and took joy in sharing her love and positivity around her.

“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.

“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.

“We will not be holding a memorial or funeral service at this time. We will be planning to do so later, when we have had a chance to process this tragedy, and can better celebrate her brilliant spirit and wonderful life. Please keep Ellen with you when you need someone to go for a quiet walk with, or to meet for a coffee, or to kick your butt and get you out for a ride. Please know that she’ll be there as much as you need her, just like she always has been.”

Watters joined the Ottawa-based The Cyclery Racing Program in 2014 and recently signed a contract to compete in 2017 as a member of the UCI Colavita/Bianchi professional women’s cycling team, based in the United States. 

Watters came to Somerville as a member of the Cyclery-Opus team for the 73rd annual Memorial Day weekend cycling classic. She bested 41 other female cyclists to win the 25-mile race in a time of 1:01.44, winning a purse of $10,000. It was the first time race sponsors awarded the winner of the women’s race the identical amount as the winner of the men’s 50-mile race.

One month later she was the winner of the Bronze medal in the criterium at the Canadian Road Championship.

She had also won the 26-mile Tour of Battenkill in Greenwich, NY just a few days prior to the Tour of Somerville.

Race announcer Joe Saling interviewed Watters following her victory in Somerville, and recalled her as being “bubbly.”

“Of course, you would be after winning an important race like the Tour of Somerville,” Saling said. “What really impressed me is that prior to winning the race she would not have been on my list of potential winners; she was not one of the favorites, at least not in my mind; maybe in the minds of her competitors, seeing her every week in the big races,” he added.

Ron Czajkowski, a Somerville resident and longtime member of the race committee described Watters as "a gracious young lady, full of life.

"I spoke with her before she went up on the podium to receive her award," Czajkowski said. "She was so appreciative of the crowd, and to be a part of a grand tradition and winner of this historic race."

"It is a tragedy; it is a shame,” Saling said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Bridgewater/Raritan

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

The Wayrick Gallery, Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: NJ Audubon Photography Instructors’ ...

Arts & Entertainment Green

Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster,

2018 Members’ Non-Juried Exhibition & Sale

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, July 21, 9:30 AM

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Nature-Infused Yoga Summer Series

Green Health & Wellness

Somerville Woman Arrested for Shoplifting from Macy's, According to Bridgewater Police Report

July 14, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - A Somerville woman was arrested for allegedly shoplifting more than $400 worth of merchandise from Macy's at the Bridgewater Commons Mall July 7, according to a report from Bridgewater Township Police.

Sara Morales-Silva, 51, was charged with shoplifting after she was found with about $435.04 worth of merchandise from the store.

She was processed and released pending a ...

Hunterdon Medical Center Program Saves Hearts and Lives

July 20, 2018

FLEMINGTON, NJ – Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But science shows that heart disease can be both prevented and reversed.

Hunterdon Healthcare, the corporate parent of Hunterdon Medical Center, offers the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease.

The program is nationally recognized ...

Somerville: Gallery Hosts Photo Society's 90th Anniversary Exhibit

July 15, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Arts on Division is presenting “Visions of Raritan Photographic Society – A Celebration of 90 years” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at the Gallery on Division, 15B Division Street.

The Raritan Photographic Society, founded in 1929, is the oldest photography club in New Jersey. The exhibit celebrates the organization's 90 years ...

Take Action to Reduce Debt

In our last article, we broached the subject of debt and the township’s reliance – or over-reliance – on debt to fund our yearly expenditures for items such as roads. So, ok, we want to reduce our reliance on debt moving forward, especially as the cost of borrowing is rising. What’s the solution?

Well, there’s no magic wand we can wave to suddenly end ...

Is the Mediterranean Diet Still the Best for Heart Healthy Eating?

The Mediterranean diet has long been the standard for heart healthy eating.  It is a diet that emphasizes olive oil, fresh vegetables, nuts, whole grains over refined grains, fish and plant-based protein over red meat, herbs and spices to flavor food over salt, and fresh fruit for dessert instead of refined sweets. The US News and World Report even named the Mediterranean diet its ...

Celebrate Summer with Freedom & Responsibility

Parents and students rejoice!

School is out and everyone can now experience a great sense of freedom. Kids want to be outside enjoying summer weather and; although it’s the most wonderful season for non-academic activities involving swimming, traveling, and hiking to name a few, let us not forget that summer loss is a serious long-term result of not opening a book or writing for eight ...

Unique Skill Set Offers Students an Advantage

One of our SAT prep students recently gained a lot of attention for being accepted to all seven of the Ivy League schools to which she had applied, as well as to Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) She has chosen to attend M.I.T. and major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Of course, Diana had earned stellar SAT scores and had a most impressive ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and dining ...