No criminal charges are forthcoming after the RCMP found insufficient evidence to prosecute in the death of Ellen Watters. The decision comes days after the New Brunswick legislature officially approved Ellen’s Law that mandates motorists give cyclists one metre of space when passing in the province.
“It was determined that there’s not sufficient evidence to support any charges,” Sgt. Jim MacPherson told CBC News after the decision not to prosecute was made public on Monday.
“This decision was made in consultation with the Crown prosecutors, who concurred charges were not warranted in this case,” he explained.
Watters was a 28-year-old cyclist who was struck by a vehicle while on a training ride on Dec. 23 near Sussex, N.B. after returning home from Ottawa for the holidays. She died in hospital on Dec. 27.
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Her death prompted the provinces legislature to introduce and pass a law aimed at protecting cyclists which was named in honour of Watters.
The case that was opened following her death was in the hands of the prosecutor for two months according to MacPherson who declined to discuss what charges were being considered.
“The investigation took some time because there was a technical aspect to it,” MacPherson said to CBC. “We had an accident reconstructionist look at all the information and he has to prepare a report and when we get that report back, we include that in our investigation.”
Watters won the Tour of Battenkill and the Tour of Sommerville in 2016 which lead to a pro-contract with UCI team Colavita-Bianchi set to begin in 2017.