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Driver who killed champion cyclist sentenced to 8 years

Ryan Montoya pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide - DUI in the May 2021 death of Gwen Inglis in Lakewood.

BOULDER, Colo. — The man who killed a champion cyclist in a May 2021 crash in Lakewood was sentenced to eight years in prison on Tuesday, the maximum sentence the judge was allowed to give. 

Court records show 31-year-old Ryan Scott Montoya pleaded guilty on April 6 to vehicular manslaughter - DUI in the death of 46-year-old Gwen Inglis.

Montoya was also sentenced to three years of mandatory parole, and received credit for 355 days served in prison.

"So until the law is changed, surely eight years is not enough for an angel's life, right?" Gwen's husband, Mike Inglis, asked after the sentencing hearing.

Gwen was a national champion cyclist who was listed as the winner of Road Race Women ages 45 to 49 at the 2019 USA Cycling Masters Road Nationals just before her death.

“While the defendant’s plea may have spared Gwen’s family the anxiety of reliving this heartbreak at trial, the defendant’s selfish choice to drive high on meth leaves them with the kind of pain that can never be spared,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Domingues said. “It’s such a senseless loss for her family to endure and the biking community to suffer, but inconceivable for a husband to helplessly witness.”

Before the sentencing, Mike and a large group of Gwen's family and friends biked together from Denver to the courthouse in Golden.

Mike made a statement by riding the tandem bike the pair shared. 

“Today I want everyone to see that your actions have consequences and now I don’t have my tandem partner, my stoker in the back giving me more power when I need power to go up the hills," Mike said. "And it’s kind of a devastating loss in and of itself, just having a life partner on that bike for the last 15 years not there anymore."

Mike's mission is to continue bringing the joy Gwen would have brought to this world, and to advocate against distracted driving. 

“It’s societal," he said. "So everybody’s distracted, everybody’s doing something, and when you parlay illegal behaviors with those, then it’s just going to double down on itself." 

Montoya was facing the following the charges before pleading guilty, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office:

  • Vehicular homicide – DUI
  • Vehicular homicide – reckless driving
  • Infliction of serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user
  • Driving under the influence –second alcohol-related offense
  • Careless driving
  • Improper changing of lanes
  • Passing on the left improperly
  • Hitting a bicyclist or other authorized user in the bicycle lane
Credit: Lakewood Police Department
Ryan Montoya

RELATED: 'Being Gwen is being selfless:' Cyclist killed in crash remembered for her heart

Montoya hit Gwen after drifting into the bike lane around 10 a.m. on May 16, 2021, on West Alameda Parkway between South McIntyre Street and South Indiana Street, according to Lakewood Police Department.

Montoya also came close to hitting Mike, who was riding with Gwen, the district attorney's office said 

Montoya stayed on the scene after the crash, and police said he showed signs of impairment.

He had a previous DUI in 2014, according to prosecutors.

Credit: Family via Jefferson County District Attorney's Office
Gwen Inglis

Mike told police he was biking just behind Gwen when he saw a car swerve into the bike lane and hit her. 

He's a trained paramedic, but he said there was nothing he could do.

“We’ve all ridden this a thousand times and then it only takes once, one individual to change and devastate everybody’s lives," Mike said after the crash. 

PREVIOUS: Champion cyclist killed in crash, driver arrested on suspicion of DUI

PREVIOUS: Driver accused in death of champion cyclist charged with multiple counts

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