Nicky Hayden’s Fatal Bicycle Crash Update
It’s been nearly a year and a half since Nicky Hayden’s fatal bicycle collision that occurred in Italy May 17. And now the driver of the Peugeot who struck the 2006 MotoGP Champion in Rimini was sentenced.
The 31-year-old driver – not identified by Italian courts – was found guilty Wednesday of “road homicide,” and could have faced up to two years in prison.
But for reasons that won’t be public for 90 days, Judge Vinicio Canatarini lowered the driver’s penalty to a suspended sentence of one year in prison. The driver also lost his driver’s license, and must pay all court costs.
Hayden’s family was not present at the trail, but have launched their own civil suit against the driver for upwards of $6 million.
According to various European publications, an expert witness said the driver could have stopped if he was traveling 20 km/h (roughly 12 mph) slower.
When the 35-year-old Kentuckian was struck May 17 while cycling just outside of the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, the driver of the Peugeot was traveling at 70 km/h (about 43 mph).
Hayden was hospitalized, and died May 22 in the Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesena, Italy.
About Nicky Hayden
Nicky, of Owensboro, Kentucky, was around the motorcycle racing scene since early childhood. This was due to his dad Earl’s love and participation in racing. Nicky was constantly at racing events with his father and mother Rose, along with his siblings: older brother Tommy; younger brother Roger Lee, who currently competes in MotoAmerica Superbike; and sisters Kathleen and Jenny.
The “Kentucky Kid” won his first AMA Supersport Championship in 1999 as a privateer (Honda), and beat Mat Mladin to the the 2002 AMA Superbike title after winning that year’s Daytona 200. In his AMA days, Nicky also competed in American dirt track racing, winning a few Grand National events.
In 2003, he joined the Repsol Honda team in MotoGP alongside nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, earning Rookie of the Year. Hayden would then battle with Rossi throughout the 2006 MotoGP Championship, and claim the title by a mere five points ahead of “The Doctor” Valentino Rossi.
Hayden continued racing in MotoGP through 2015, competing for Ducati Team (2009-2013) and Aspar Honda (2014-2015).
For 2016, Nicky joined the World Superbike Championship with Ten Kate Honda (now Red Bull Honda World Superbike), becoming the sole American in the series. His last race occurred May 14, 2017, at Imola, three days before his bicycle crash.