US cycling champion Gwen Inglis dies after being struck by car on training ride

US national cycling champion Gwen Inglis was struck and killed by a car on Sunday while training near her Denver home, authorities said. She was 47.

Inglis, the reigning US road race champion in the 45-to-49 age group, was riding with her husband, Mike, around 10am on Sunday in the Denver suburb of Lakewood when a Nissan sedan driven by Ryan Scott Montoya, 29, drifted into the bike lane where she was riding.

Montoya remained at the scene and was facing possible charges of vehicular homicide, Lakewood police told local Fox affiliate KDVR-TV. Montoya told police he was not texting at the time of the accident, but admitted to drinking alcohol and using marijuana the night before, 9 News reported.

The Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado, part of USA Cycling, described Inglis as a “particularly special person” in a statement mourning her loss.

“Colorado cycling lost one of their best yesterday,” the statement read. “There are few words that can express the feeling of loss for any of our cycling community, and 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.”

Teammate Barry Lee told KDVR that Inglis’s personality stood out in the world of cycling.

“She was the most humble, gracious and sweetest soul and magical spirit in this elitist and ego dominated sport,” Lee said. “She represented the pure joy and love of the bike and the sport that I so dearly cherish and appreciate. She was the calm and gentle champion with the inner strength grace and beauty I so respected and was always inspired by.”