Nicky Hayden’s funeral could take place in his hometown at a yet unspecified date. The family of the late MotoGP champion has revealed that his organs would be donated, according to his wishes.
The 35-year-old professional motorcycle racer was pronounced dead on Monday after a car accident last week landed him in the trauma unit of the Cesena Bufalini Hospital in Italy. Hayden was reportedly training on a bicycle at the coast of Rimini when the accident occurred. He had participated in the World Superbike Championship at Imola just a few days before the crash.
Italian authorities approved the return of Hayden’s body to his family earlier this week, according to GPOne. His body was set to be transported to his hometown Owensboro, Kentucky by his relatives. There is no information on the plans for Nicky Hayden’s funeral yet.
The city of Owensboro is currently mourning the death of the RedBull Honda racer known as The Kentucky Kid. Tim Watson, the Mayor of Owensboro, has ordered all flags in the city to be flown at half mast.
“I was saddened to learn of the passing of one of Owensboro’s greatest who represented our city so well,” Watson said in a statement. “My heart goes out to the Hayden family, friends, and countless fans.”
Tributes have been flowing from relatives, friends, fans, and other motorcycle racers since the death of Nicky Hayden was confirmed.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) May 23, 2017
— bikehps.com (@bikehps) May 25, 2017
@MotoGP R.I.P Nicky hayden????????????
— Tiger (@TR_Tigerlove12) May 25, 2017
"Blood, sweat, tears & respect. The first three you give, the last you earn." – Nicky Hayden. #RIP69
— Simmo (@world_racing) May 23, 2017
Totally shocked… Another one of the good guys gone way too soon. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this terrible time.. https://t.co/ozmbKa5Hba
— Jenson Button (@JensonButton) May 22, 2017
Nicky Hayden giving Valentino Rossi a lift at Laguna Seca 2012. R.I.P Nicky, a true champion and sportsman at heart. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/ZVschkAsOb
— ColumnM (@ColumnM) May 23, 2017
Hayden, who was born into a family of motorcycle racers, starting competing on the dirt track as a teenager. He won his first Grand Prix in 2005, and in 2006, he bested Valentino Rossi to win the MotoGP title in Valencia, Spain. The Kentucky Kid rode for both Honda and Ducati before moving over to the World Superbike Championship last year and finished among the top five.
— Aus Speedway Laughs (@speedwaynewsau) May 23, 2017
Among his many accolades, Hayden was also a movie stuntman. He rode on the roof of Turkey’s Grand Bazaar in a stunt for the opening scene of James Bond’s Skyfall.
While the world awaits Nicky Hayden’s funeral and mourns the death of the MotoGP legend, police in Italy are still investigating the circumstances behind the accident that claimed his life. Two videos have emerged of the crash site, according to the Express UK. The first video was reportedly gotten from a surveillance system near the scene of the accident. Investigators are said to be in possession of the footage.
Another video has appeared online showing moments after the crash occurred as the police arrive and attempt to cordon off the place. The Peugeot vehicle that struck Nicky Hayden is shown with a severely cracked windscreen. The bike he was riding is also shown by the roadside.
The driver of the vehicle that hit Nicky Hayden has been identified as Sans Giovanni, 30. He reportedly passed a breathalyzer test after the accident. The circumstances of the crash remain unclear, and a police probe is still ongoing. There are speculations in Italian media that Hayden violated traffic rules by skipping a stop sign before he was hit by the vehicle. However, this has not been confirmed by investigators. There are also talks that he may have been distracted as an iPod attached to an earpiece was found on the scene.
If Giovanni is found guilty, he could face several charges including vehicular manslaughter.
Meanwhile, the RedBull Honda World SuperBike team has released a statement on the death of Nicky Hayden.
“As well as being a true champion on the track, Nicky was a fan favorite off it due to his kind nature, relaxed demeanor, and the huge smile he invariably carried everywhere,” the statement said. It also revealed that Hayden was surrounded by his relatives and fiancee at the time he passed on.
[Featured Image by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images]