Police identify woman cyclist killed in crash

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RENNIES ROAD - The name of the deceased from Saturday night's fatal van/bicycle collision is Elizabeth Ann Sovis, 63, of Edmonton, Alta.

Sovis was riding her bicycle with her partner along Route 13 on Rennies Road when she was struck by a van from behind. The other bicyclist was not injured. 

The 49-year-old male driver of the van is expected to appear late this afternoon before a Justice of the Peace in Charlottetown to formally face a charge of impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death.  The police are asking the Crown to seek a remand into custody so a show cause hearing  can be held at a later date.

Cyclists plan tribute tonight with special ride

 After the collision, the motorist left the scene but returned a short time later and was arrested at the scene for impaired driving causing death after providing breath samples well above the legal limit.

Meanwhile, Cycling P.E.I. is organizing a special ride this evening in memory of Sovis. Riders are asked to gather in the parking lot of the Hunter River Lions Club with the ride beginning at 6 p.m.   "The issues surrounding this tragedy need to be adressed to the public by cyclists so please come out if you can. cycling, walking, strolling is all encouraged," said Cycling P.E.I. member Kris Taylor.

Organizations: RCMP, Provincial Correctional Centre.An

Geographic location: Rennies Road, Hunter River

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Recent comments

    July 16, 2012 - 17:02

    I watched COMPASS tonight and i find it totally unbelievable that people actually bleame the highways for the accidents. The highways could be 500 yards wide and that will still not stop some mindleee, witlees indivudual from driving drunk, Nor will it make the 15 or so that are killed each year by not weaing seatbelts wear them They wouls rather die then follow regulations. OLD iSLAND TRADITION YOU KNOW. tHE COURTS COULD HELP THE SITUSTIUON BY KEEPING THE REPEAT OFFENDERS OF THE HIGHWAYS, HOWEVER WITH THE CURRET POLICY OF YOU CAN'T GO TO JAIL IF YOU HAVE A JOB AND YOU DON'T PAY FINES IF YOU DON'T HAVE A JOB IN EFFECT, THIS MAKES THE SITUATION VERY HARD TO CONTROL. YOU CAN WIDEN EVERY ROAD ON THE ISLAND TO DOUBLE ITS SIZE AND THE DRUNKS WILL STILL BE THERE KILLING PEOPLE.

  • Lori
    July 16, 2012 - 09:49

    I am so sorry for the loss of this woman's life for her family and friends. Education is the key - driving seems to be more common here than in other places. Unfortunately with too few police to enforce this. Our society sucks when people think it is acceptable to drink and take the back roads home. Drink driving conviction should be a ban from driving for life. Why give the person a second chance.

  • don
    July 15, 2012 - 17:01

    NEIL, i do know that road thank you the wife and used it a lot from ch'town to our home in new london. and to me drunk drivers are "MURDERS" and should be treated as that. take there freedom away for life as they took another persons freedom. they want to party well party behind a jail cell till they day.

  • Bernard
    July 15, 2012 - 16:29

    Cyclists cannot protect themselves against irresponsible drunks. Cyclists have as much right to the roads as drivers. In this case Public highways knew the existing danger and choose not to provide a safe shoulder. Govt and municipalities have an obligation to provide safe roads for all. I hope the family of this poor cyclist takes them all to court !l!

  • The Artisan
    July 15, 2012 - 15:55

    Don, I checked your link and Mike Currie did make it legal to impound cars and prohibit driving under the P.E.I. Highway Traffic Act which is a provincial law. Impaired driving laws fall under the federal Criminal Code and are distinct from the Highway Traffic Act. Only parliament can change the Criminal Code to increase jail time for drunk drivers. Prince Edward Island has no say in changing how long a drunk stays in jail.

  • Neil
    July 15, 2012 - 15:47

    Hey Don, God was watching over the poor victim wasn't he. You don't know the road that is described in the story so take your bible thumping fantasy somewhere else and do some investigating into my side. Then you will see. And Drunk drivers are idiots.

  • patty
    July 15, 2012 - 15:39

    when i complained about some of the island drivers and the stupid things they do like passing on the inside which even an ambulance is an accident looking for place to happen the police ttold me there was not much they could do it was just an island thing people are still texting and driving constantly we also told them that if they didnt slow down the traffic in pownal someone else a second person was going to die but still the minister of transportation was going to have a look at reducing the speed but the person must have to die first the same with alcohol and texting way to go islanders

  • Mourning in the west
    July 15, 2012 - 15:37

    She will be missed dearly. A tragic end to her vacation. There is a void left in the lives of those of us who knew her that will not be filled regardless of punishment or consequences dealt to the driver who killed her. RIP, rest with God.

  • Guy Cousineau
    July 15, 2012 - 14:58

    To everyone who is appalled by this, contact your MP and petition for tougher DUI laws. If I understand the Criminal Code correctly, DUI involving death "could" result in a life sentence. However it does not seem to impose a minimum sentence. That is the part that leaves the judge an opening to be compassionate. We need tough MANDATORY sentences with discretion to impose MORE, not LESS.

  • Sheila MacKay
    July 15, 2012 - 14:05

    Elizabeth was my next- door neighbor, here in Edmonton. She was an excellent wife,mother and friend. We will miss her.

  • totally fed up
    July 15, 2012 - 13:54

    yes we have heard it too many times before,they drink and drive,they feel they can handle it,the same for those hand held cell phones,why make laws if your not going to enforce them! to shut us up for a while? if you want to kill yourself go ahead,but when your taking a deadly weapon and driving it drunk or on a phone then on our roads where we are i dont really know what to tell you,you are stupid if you think it cant happen to you and the sad part is the drunk walks away,the innocent person dies! take the car from them .if it was a gun or some other weapon you would,why not! if it effects their family sorry,but why should law a biding people pay for thier stupity and give them breaks over and over again ,they are laughing at the laws,and i dont blame them!

  • Mary
    July 15, 2012 - 13:48

    RIP to the women. I'm a biker in the summertime and I avoid roads at all costs an bike on the trails. You would not believe the amount of drivers that have no respect for bikers.and this person was a drunk driver? not surprised, it's getting worse on this Island.

  • don
    July 15, 2012 - 12:39

    THE ARTISAN. i think you should read this story the drunk law is island not federal other wise this story is wrong but you are WRONG. research 1st before you say we are wrong liberal supporter. http://www.gov.pe.ca/news/getrelease.php3?number=411

  • The Artisan
    July 15, 2012 - 12:12

    For all you morons blaming Ghiz for this woman's death because his government is opening more liquor stores, think for a moment. Someone who wants to drink at 9 a.m. will do so no matter how many liquor stores there are. As for those blaming Ghiz for the drunk driving laws you are wrong. The impaired driving laws are under the federal Criminal Code and provinces cannot change them to make the penalties stiffer. If you people crying the crocodile tears over the impaired driving laws had the guts and intelligence you would petition the federal government to change the laws. But it is easier to bitch then to actually do something.

  • don
    July 15, 2012 - 11:41

    NEIL. i have been driving for 40 years have drove thru eastern parts of the USA from main to fl and lived in Ont.and i have drove on island roads the bigger part of my life and have not hit anyone while on wet ,dry,snow covered why Gods help but a drunk can kill on 2 lanes or even on the 401 in Ont so your line is crap. have a drink.

  • cedric
    July 15, 2012 - 11:38

    And the government is pushing for booze to be sold at many new locations across P.E.I.and allowing the sale of booze to the public at 9.00 in the morning. I guess they have a lot more concern for the $$$$$ than a human life.

  • Guy Cousineau
    July 15, 2012 - 11:28

    We used to say SPEED KILLS. Drunk Driving Kills also. There should be no mercy for DUI causing death. Licence should be suspended forever and a day. Let's get on the bandwagon once the house resumes.

  • Report Impaired Drivers
    July 15, 2012 - 10:28

    Report impaired drivers even family members who drink and drive the life you save may be your own,a friends or family.....now some other family is grieving....The police cannot be every where.....If you have an alcoholic in your family who drives ..report them..the majority of the time it is the first leg on the road to recovery..........it saves money on lawyers and civil suits when you get sued for injuring or killing someone on top of the criminal charges......The hot weather brings them out........don't blame the roads or the province...it is a human cause that is preventable .......Put your mother or child on that bicycle....!!!

  • DG
    July 15, 2012 - 09:19

    With all the public awareness regarding Impaired Drivers we are still reading about these senseless deaths. The Justice system has to lobby for stricter sentences for those found guilty of this offence. Prince Edward Island must take the lead as we have more alcohol related deaths on our highways than any province in Canada per population. When tragedy such as this strikes there are many victims left to suffer for a life time.

  • FLO
    July 15, 2012 - 08:39

    When are they going to start enforcing stronger laws on PEI ??.To get out in a car drinking is like walking around with a loaded gun. But they need to crack down on this .My sincere sympathy for this ladies family.

  • linda schluss
    July 15, 2012 - 08:12

    It is with a heavy heart one reads this news. Sincere Condolences to the family. WHILE one cannot guard against the insanity of people driving while impaired, most roads on PEI are not fit for combined use of motorvehicles and bicycles. The Government needs to put up signs: "bike at your own risk" on most PEI roads. Dept. of Tourism needs to clearly state this in their literature. Meanwhile rather than up grade some ot these roads, pratronage and greed demands that Ghiz spend 20 mill dollars on a road,(plan B) that is perfectly safe as it is for everybody to use.

  • Sylvia
    July 15, 2012 - 08:09

    His sentence should be in prison and a lifetime ban on driving. Judges will have to give out longer sentences in prison, What is so disturbing is that people who have lost their licences are still driving with no insurance, no registration. I feel so badly for this poor woman's family. My sincere condolences to them. This is truly a a needless tragedy.

  • Jim
    July 15, 2012 - 08:07

    Really think we need to adopt tougher laws like British Columbia. Impaired Drivers have to pay the price. Impaired drivers on PEI are back driving as soon as they can crawl back behind a steering wheel. Start impounding cars and fine them very hefty fines. Make them suffer. They don`t seem to have any consideration for anyone else!!

  • Joanne Lord MacLeod
    July 15, 2012 - 08:03

    Just as 'concerned Islander' said : drinking individuals might as well be handed a loaded gun and told to go kill the first person you see coming toward you,or close enough to aim and shoot .So,when is the justice system going to smarten up and start charging these individuals for 2nd degree murder - they have a car as a weapon and they have aimed it ,though not purposely ,at an individual and taken his /her life ? It could possibly be 1st degree ,as they often have no insurance ,registration, nor remorse for the life they have taken . These drivers must be held accountable ,in reality ,not just slapped on the wrist ! They are a menace to our safety and society as a whole .

  • thoughts
    July 15, 2012 - 07:54

    yes, getting behind the wheel while drinking is not a goood idea but i bet you all know a family member that has done it, cops lawyers and doctors all have done it. Putting them behind bars is not helping the cause. Have you ever thought that the person probably has an alcohol addiction which is a disease just like diabetes but they dont go behind bars when driving and taking a seizure. The addiction must be addressed to fix the situation. My condolences go out to all.

  • Nancy
    July 15, 2012 - 07:54

    I think the laws are fine and the penalties are enough. My son was charged for impaired and his fine(1000.00)court costs(150.00),jail,payment of damages,(1500.00) going to hospital with his own injuries,luckily no one else was involved,only property, his only charge and had to pay to have his record cleared (1000.00)and still waiting with the rest of the harder criminals to be cleared or NOT! He is an honors student and this could have ruined his life and is still after 9 yrs making it difficult so in defense of him THIS affects EVERYONE! He has put his keys away in a drawer ever since. Owness to the people not the system. We have to be accountable !Law enforcement has to always be there and my condolences to this poor lady's family, it is a shame.

  • don
    July 15, 2012 - 07:48

    WHEN IS IT ENOUGH. i agree but the judges can only give what the law allows. it is up to dizzy to get tougher on the drunks but he will not that's why he is opening more stores that can sell 7 days a week so more people can die and he makes more MONEY on fines etc. so blame the government not the judges.to me that is murder he should get life and a day that way he is no longer free as the lady is no longer free to live her life.

  • Marty
    July 15, 2012 - 06:40

    People around PEI know it's safe to go out and speed/drink most of the time since there has been such a reduction in police serving the communities. So many people take the back roads so they can enjoy their drinks and get home thinking all the while they won't hurt anyone. I bike on the roads all the time around Ch'town, I am saddened that this person, like myself, trusted people in 2 ton weapons to safely pass.

  • Aaron Jarvis
    July 15, 2012 - 01:04

    Send him to jail for life .

  • Demon Drink
    July 15, 2012 - 00:06

    Does no one see the irony of the government selling the booze that ultimately these drunks are full of when they run down the unsuspecting? They can say all they want about legalizing pot but I'd rather have a stoner sitting at home with the munchies any day over these drunks that insist on getting behind the wheel with no regard for law or safety of neighbors. I've had a good friend killed while walking his dog and that drunk that ran over him and the dog is living his life free as a bird. What is going to take? Sue the government that sells the stuff?

  • Sad evening
    July 14, 2012 - 23:32

    Once again another accident that there was no need off. I feel for the family. If the family does read my post. Please fight for a murder charge don't let this person off with anything less. If someone kiiled another with a gun while being drunk, would be charged with murder, so should be no different using a vehicle. Once again to the family i'm sorry for your loss.

  • neil
    July 14, 2012 - 22:59

    If the driver was drinking, of course, terrible. However that road is awful. People drive way to fast, there are many blind hills and the Government is so cheap that they only pave enough for two cars and used left over crushed asphalt for the shoulder. And I don't mean 2 feet on the other side of the white line, were talking no white line and then crushed asphalt which eventually settles to be much lower than the paved road. after a good rain in can be all washed away. PEI roads are unsafe, add alcohol and it is a deadly combination.

    • Roaddawg
      July 15, 2012 - 06:24

      Its very sad to see another life has been lost due to a dumd person drinking and driving , He should be locked away for life in my opinion he knew full well what he was doing.. However , the highway is no place for a Bicycle they take up the road with no signal lights don't pay registration or insurance..and they are in and out of traffic all the time....some of those ppl on Bicycles get far to close if they want to ride the highways at least pay for it we have to pay for our vehicles to drive the highways.. But its very sad this lady lost her life.

    • Concerned Islander
      July 15, 2012 - 14:50

      @Neil....you have GOT to be kidding me. A man chose to drink, and then drive and killed a helpless woman on a bicycle. And you are blaming on the "terrible road"! Dear God help us if it is the likes of you who have to decide the fate of this man when he is tried in court. I can read/hear it now, "Officer, yes I was drinking, but that Rennies Road - blind hills, only two lanes (which most side P.E.I. roads are!) - sorry I hit her, but sure wasn't my fault"! You people who are blaming the Gov't - get it through your thick skull that our Gov't has NO blame whatsoever in this accident. That man chose to drink, he chose to get behind the wheel of his vehicle after doing so and he KILLED an innocent victim. Enough said - throw the book at him.

  • When is it enough?
    July 14, 2012 - 21:29

    Another life lost due to the senseless disregard for our laws. It is against the law to drive impaired. Why? because people die!!!!!Judges on PEI need to get tough. Soon we will be known as the province of Impaired Drivers. Condolences to the family.

    • Cecileia
      July 15, 2012 - 12:23

      Soon we will be known as The Province of Drunk - Intoxicated - Impaired Drivers? Soon ? Soon ? We, meaning Prince Edward Island already have been infamous for it for years AND Route 81 OMG=Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and It's downtown U.Ave. "puppet club" as been reported by CSIS since the early 1990's.

  • Concerned Islander
    July 14, 2012 - 21:28

    What an awful thing to have happen to your loved one! When is there going to be a more severe crackdown on impaired drivers - I travel the roads of Eastern P.E.I. on a regular basis for my job, and between impaired drivers and drivers on cell phones, driving on P.E.I. highways (and side roads) is a very hairy experience. I wish this beautiful woman's family much peace and comfort tonight as they deal with this tragedy. While for the gentleman who hit her - I hope you now realize the impact of your getting behind the wheel of your van after drinking. There is NO excuse for such crimes - you know you are not to drive after drinking. You may as well just put a gun in someone's hand and say, the first person you come across while going down the road - take this gun, point and shoot. Drinking and choosing to drive is the exact same thing!

  • Bob Macdonald
    July 14, 2012 - 21:08

    No doubt we will find out this is not his first time charged with being impaired. Another life that could have been saved is we would only be willing to lock people up who belong in jail

  • Gerard
    July 14, 2012 - 20:38

    Drunk drivers JUST keep on killing people...........here on P. E. I. ...........Islanders just can't get the message that drinking and driving kills...........................the unfortunate thing about it is that it's always the innocent that suffer or die. These clowns just keep on driving......licence or no licence......insurance or no insurance......the reason... they know that the price they pay may, just maybe a year in jail.......pretty sad isn"t it folks???????????

    • Islander
      July 15, 2012 - 10:15

      All Drunk Drivers that cause a death should be charged with Voluntary ManSlaughter and placed in Jail for 10 - 20 Years. This has got to stop. It would appear that some Islanders feel it is their God Given Right to drink and drive. These individuals need to be sent a message. How many innocent people need to lose their lives before our law enforcement community and our courts take this seriously.

    • Don
      July 15, 2012 - 10:18

      Terribly sad. When will people lern that drugs and driving don't mix. Why doesn't the law sentence anyone over the limit to no drinking - anti-buse inplant - rather than a driving suspension. The problem is not ability to drive but driving while impaired. Deal with the problem - drinking! The tax on booze doesn't pay for alife.

    • Jasper
      July 15, 2012 - 13:05

      I'm disguted over all this drinking and driving and people not getting punshiment for there actions> a few years ago, a guy was drunk and killed a lady and permantley hurt two others and got 17 months, a guy kills a dog and gets 11 months, ,wtf, is wrong with our justice system>>> Disgusted