Gwen Inglis was killed Sunday while training by what authorities assume was a drunk driver. The cyclist, known for being a national racing champion was struck while on her bike, killing her Sunday morning near Denver.
Inglis was struck by the vehicle as it crossed into the bike lane without warning. Colorado’s notable cyclist was quickly taken to the hospital where she died. The driver is expected to have been intoxicated at the time.
Gwen Inglis was training around 10 a.m. Sunday around West Almeda Parkway, cycling between South McIntyre and South Indiana when the sedan, heading eastbound, struck her. The driver has been identified by authorities as Ryan Scott Montoya.
Officers of the Lakewood Police Department arrested the 29-year-old driver for driving under the influence of drugs and for suspicion of vehicular homicide. Authorities are investigating what happened and Montoya is being held in Jefferson County jail. Court records show this isn’t his first DUI. Ryan Scott Montoya was previously arrested on charges of driving under the influence and other drug-related offenses.
The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado released a statement, saying that “Colorado cycling lost one of their best yesterday.” Gwen Inglis was a decorated competitor and the reigning road race national champion for women in the 45-49 category.
“There are few words that can express the feeling of loss for any of our cycling community,” the statement read. “Gwen was a particularly special person. She was a multiple National and State Champion on the bike and very well-known across the cycling community in Colorado. 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.”
Gwen Inglis’ husband, Mike Inglis, is a cycler, as well. The two were reportedly training together when the female cyclist was struck. Another cyclist was in the group, training alongside the Inglis couple. Megan Hottman demanded change, saying that the clearly marked white lines indicating the bike path aren’t enough to keep cyclists safe.
“We need more than white paint; we need protected bike infrastructure,” Hottman said. “It takes money, and we need our city council members, our lawmakers, and our city planners to get behind spending the money. We’ve got a bike lane bill, we’ve got a vulnerable road user bill, we’ve got all these excellent laws that we’ve worked on as bike advocates, and we need to see them consistently enforced by our district attorneys.” Hottman is an attorney and is representing the family during the case.
In Denver, tributes remembering Gwen Inglis started popping up. Fans and supporters recall the 6-foot rider and how she dominated competitors. Her longtime friend, Michael Gibson said that “she was literally the most caring” on and off the bike. He said she “just takes great interest in the deepest parts of you.”
Ryan Montoya is facing charges for vehicular homicide, driving under the influence, and not having insurance. He claims he was not texting when the accident occurred, but said he did drink alcohol and used marijuana the night before. However, Montoya says he stopped around 11 p.m.