Sports

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

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

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:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Prologue Girl Scouts Heart of NJ Troop 66339

June 24, 2017

Last year this time we were preparing for an unforgettable 7-day trip to Costa Rica with 18 girls and 11 Moms from GSHNJ Troop 66339. As of Tuesday, June 20, 2017, all 18 seniors have graduated from high school.

They hail from 8 different high schools (FHS, Groton(MA), Hun, North Hunterdon, Piscataway, Pingry, Union Catholic and Wilbraham & Monson(MA)) and will be attending 12 different ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ec7aee88b8e4115b1eb1_spb-4398_june_newsletters_june_26

Mon, June 26, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

Sports

Carousel_image_0e040b5406ebe31d443d_spb-4398_june_newsletters_june_27

Tue, June 27, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue Crabs

Sports

Suspicious Package Causes Alarm at Route 18 Air Force Recruiting Station

June 26, 2017

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At around 10:30 a.m., East Brunswick police were contacted by the United States Air Force Recruiting Station on Route 18 south with the report of a "suspicious package" left at the office doorway.

Police, firefighters, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, emergency medical responders and vehicles from the Department of Homeland Security then ...

Have You Seen This Missing New Brunswick Man?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — No one has seen Michael Drew since March.

And now, New Brunswick cops want you to help find him.

Drew, a 61-year-old African American, is 5 feet and 9 inches tall and roughly 155 pounds, police said. The department said he’s known to hang out around Commercial Avenue and Sanford Street.

Drew collects scrap metal, according to police. He also frequents the ...

Community Rallies to Help Piscataway Man Critically Injured in House Explosion

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Joseph Keleman’s gofundme campaign is trending because in the past four days, 54 people have raised $4,290 of the $50K goal for the Piscataway resident who was critically injured after his home exploded early Sunday morning, June 11. 

"The force of the blast completely leveled the home which was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived ...

At Rutgers, a History of Conservatism Intertwined with Controversy

Editor’s note: This story is the fourth in a five-part series on the Rutgers Conservative Union. Through that lens, TAPinto New Brunswick intends to provide a comprehensive look at an energetic year of on-campus activism at New Jersey’s flagship university. The third part is available here.

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — As the clock ticked closer to 10 p.m., the ...

County and Activists Defend Middlesex Policy Against Attacks from ICE

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Since Middlesex County adopted a policy forbidding, in most cases, its jail and sheriff’s department from aiding immigration authorities, the feds, national right-leaning media and local Republicans have come out against the move.

But the backlash has also re-energized the pro-immigrant activists who pushed the county to adopt the policy in the first place.

Two Dead After Car Goes Off GSP into Rahway River

CLARK, NJ — Two people are dead after one-car crash on the Garden State Parkway Friday morning around 10:45 a.m. The names of the victims have not been released.

“The vehicle went off the road on the right-hand side and was submerged in water. The right two lanes of the parkway are closed for investigation and will be for some time,” Lieutenant Schafer of the ...

Suspicious Package Causes Alarm at Route 18 Air Force Recruiting Station

June 26, 2017

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At around 10:30 a.m., East Brunswick police were contacted by the United States Air Force Recruiting Station on Route 18 south with the report of a "suspicious package" left at the office doorway.

Police, firefighters, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, emergency medical responders and vehicles from the Department of Homeland Security then ...

Have You Seen This Missing New Brunswick Man?

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — No one has seen Michael Drew since March.

And now, New Brunswick cops want you to help find him.

Drew, a 61-year-old African American, is 5 feet and 9 inches tall and roughly 155 pounds, police said. The department said he’s known to hang out around Commercial Avenue and Sanford Street.

Drew collects scrap metal, according to police. He also frequents the ...

Community Rallies to Help Piscataway Man Critically Injured in House Explosion

PISCATAWAY, NJ – Joseph Keleman’s gofundme campaign is trending because in the past four days, 54 people have raised $4,290 of the $50K goal for the Piscataway resident who was critically injured after his home exploded early Sunday morning, June 11. 

"The force of the blast completely leveled the home which was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters arrived ...

Suspicious Package Causes Alarm at Route 18 Air Force Recruiting Station

June 26, 2017

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - At around 10:30 a.m., East Brunswick police were contacted by the United States Air Force Recruiting Station on Route 18 south with the report of a "suspicious package" left at the office doorway.

Police, firefighters, the Middlesex County Sheriff's Department, emergency medical responders and vehicles from the Department of Homeland Security then ...