2017-05-18 17:20:43+0000 - Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

WSBK Racer and former MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden Died at 35 on May 22nd, 2017

In a cruel twist of fate, the successful racer and charismatic young man Nicky Hayden was felled by a car while out riding on his bicycle, ending a long and impressive motorcycle racing career.

While riding with a group of bicyclists on May 16th, 2017 in Rimini, Italy, 2006 MotoGP Champion and WSBK rider; Nicky Hayden was struck by a car which resulted in serious injuries. The incident took place in Rimini, Italy (a city famous for being home to motorcycle factories.) Hayden was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.

Hayden was the only American (aside from Jacobson in WSSP) to compete on the global stage in motorcycle racing in WSBK after leaving MotoGP at the end of 2015.

Witnesses reported that 35-year-old was riding amongst a pack of bicyclists when he was struck by a car. The Kentucky native was thrown into the vehicle's windshield. His injuries were treated as life threatening, leaving him with what were described as "major trauma to his head and chest".

Rimini police reported that Hayden was struck by the right-front tire of a Peugeot sedan. The report added that Hayden appeared to be separated from the group when he was hit, but no other cyclists in Hayden's group were reported injured.

Roughly four hours after the collision, the Kentucky Kid was transferred from the hospital in Rimini to a major trauma unit in Cesenate at which time his condition was described by doctors as "critical". It was reported that Hayden has undergone emergency surgery and was placed in a medically-induced coma where he remained..

Photos taken by local media in Rimini showed the extensive damage to the car which ended up with a spiderwebbed/broken windshield and a massive dent that collapsed the entire roof. Hayden's bicycle frame was broken too. The images of the vehicles involved gave a good sense of just how violent of an impact this must have been.

Hayden had been an avid cyclist for years. In his words, "When I started (bicycling) I mainly did it for training, but now it's something I really like to do."

It was hoped that the accident wouldn't force the last American World Champion into an early retirement but instead it claimed his life.

The video below, (though in Italian), shows the scene of the accident and the extent of the damage to both the Peugeot and Hayden's bicycle.

1 Comment
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  • marina
  • 2017-05-18T14:57:24-04:00

This is absolutely crazy and tragic at the same time.