It has been over a year since we had to report the passing of Nicky Hayden. Struck by a car outside of the Misano circuit, while he was training on his bicycle, Hayden’s death was felt around the world.
Though always in our hearts, the motorcycle industry has begun to move on from the loss of its beloved world champion, but the legal proceedings in Italy have nevertheless been toiling away.
There are two matters before the Italian courts. One, the criminal proceedings for the unnamed driver of the car that struck and killed Hayden; and two, a civil suit by the Hayden family against the car’s driver.
Now, the initial criminal proceedings of the incident have concluded, with the Italian court finding the driver of the car guilty of homicide.
Given a suspended sentence of one year in prison (which is custom in Italy), the lost of their driving license, and required to pay the costs of the court, the case will go to appeal.
“It was a drama for two families,” said Pierluigi Autunno, lawyer to the 31-year-old driver. “We will appeal, there are more reports and everything revolves around the causal link. We believe that my client has done everything to avoid the accident. We await the motivations with confidence and we will appeal.”
At the core of the judge’s decision is the finding that the car that struck Hayden was traveling close to 70 km/h in a 50 km/h zone, and that had it been traveling slower, the driver would have been able to avoid the accident, despite Hayden having rolled through his stop sign.
The judge is expected to disclose his reasoning for the sentence in 90 days’ time, though we expect that this judgment was reasoned to show blame on the young driver, without substantial punishment.
While the criminal charges continue to work their way through the legal system, the Hayden family continues to pursue a $6 million civil suit against the driver, the maximum covered by the Italian insurance policy.