US national cycling champion Gwen Inglis died on Sunday after she was struck and killed by a driver who was suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, police said.
Mrs Inglis, 46, was doing a training ride with her husband, Mike Inglis, on 16 May around 10am local time in Lakewood, Colorado, when driver Ryan Montoya, 29, drifted into the bike lane and hit the woman with his vehicle.
She was taken to the hospital and later died of her injuries.
After the incident, Mr Montoya remained on the scene until police officers arrived. The man told police that he was not texting when the incident happened but confessed to drinking alcohol and using marijuana the previous evening, 9News reports.
Officers on the scene found drug paraphernalia, according to the local news station, and Mr Montoya also confessed to smoking methamphetamine three days prior to the incident.
Mr Montoya was booked at Jefferson County Jail on $50,000 bail and faces multiple drug-related charges, including vehicular homicide involving DUI. His first court hearing will be held on Friday.
Mrs Inglis was the road race national champion for women in the 45 to 48 age group. She last competed on 24 April Pueblo, Colorado, where she finished eighth in the Steel City Road Race.
Her husband is also a renowned cyclist.
“We are saddened to hear about the tragic loss of Gwen Inglis. The Masters Road Race National Champion was hit by a driver on her training ride Sunday morning and later passed away at the hospital. We are sending our thoughts to Gwen’s family during this difficult time,” USA Cycling tweeted.
The Bicycle Racing Association added: “Colorado cycling lost one of their best yesterday. Even more impressive was her character off the bike. Knowing Gwen, you would immediately be aware of her strongest qualities. She consistently brought joy into all her relationships, and she openly accepted everyone.”
Members of the Lakewood community gathered on Tuesday near the crash site to honour the cyclist.
“It just hurts,” Mr Inglis told CBS4. “Everything hurts, and it’s really enraging, beyond enraging, that in the state of Colorado it seems like people get away with lots of DUI’s.”
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