Suspended sentence for Hayden crash driver

Nicky Hayden pic: Honda

The driver who fatally struck Nicky Hayden while the former MotoGP champion was cycling in Italy has been handed a one-year suspended prison sentence.

Hayden had been cycling on the Rimini coast on May 17 last year when he was hit by a car, causing brain damage and ultimately his death five days later.

According to local news outlet Rimini Today and Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the 31-year-old driver, who was not named, was found guilty of road homicide.

The trial took place under an abbreviated procedure, meaning that the sentence would already be reduced by one third.

Prosecutors had been seeking a term of one year and two months after an investigation that Hayden and the driver shared culpability for the crash.

In addition to the suspended prison sentence, the driver had his licence cancelled and was ordered to pay court costs.

The crash had been investigated by a pool of three experts, one each appointed by the prosecutor, defence, and a lawyer representing the Hayden family.

It found Hayden was riding at a speed of just over 20km/h when he failed to obey a stop sign, while the driver had been exceeding the 50km/h speed limit by more than 20km/h.

As such, Hayden was determined to be 30 percent at fault for the crash with the driver shouldering the remainder of the blame.

Furthermore, the prosecutor’s expert Orlando Omicini, a former police officer, claimed that if the driver been travelling at the speed limit then “by reacting and braking, the accident would have been avoided.”

The judge will reveal the reasons for his decision within 90 days.

Hayden’s family is pursuing civil action against the driver.

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