Nicky Hayden Accident Remains Under Investigation In Italy

Latest findings place significant portion of responsibility for fatality on speeding car driver

nicky hayden headshot
Nicky HaydenCourtesy of Red Bull Honda

Nicky Hayden’s tragic death this past May saddened the motorcycling world, but the traffic accident that led to his fatal injuries was quickly attributed to a report that Hayden ignored a stop sign at a four-way intersection while riding his bicycle near the Misano circuit in Italy. The 35-year-old Owensboro, Kentucky, native was immediately struck by an automobile traveling on the two-lane road.

Local media reported that evidence confirmed the accident was, in fact, Hayden’s responsibility and began applying pressure on the police to close the case in favor of the 30-year-old driver, who lives near the location of the accident. An investigation nevertheless proceeded in all possible directions. News has now surfaced that the driver could be charged with speeding and held responsible for inflicting the injuries that eventually resulted in Hayden’s death.

Police found that the driver of the Peugeot sedan was traveling 72 kph (45 mph) in a 50-kph (31 mph) zone. Lawyers allege that if the driver had observed the speed limit, there would have been time to brake and avoid colliding with Hayden. If charged and found guilty of “road assassination”—as these cases are now called in Italy after parliament issued a specific law last year to that effect—the driver could face five to 10 years behind bars.

On the other hand, Hayden is still blamed for “burning” the stop sign, but now the investigators are also trying to find substantial evidence regarding the direction he intended to take when he entered the main road. Was Hayden actually crossing the road or was he turning right onto it, parallel with the direction the car was traveling? In the latter example, partial responsibility could be even further reduced. The case remains open.