MotoGP

Driver involved in Nicky Hayden’s fatal crash sentenced

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The driver involved in 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden’s fatal cycling collision last year has been given a one-year suspended prison sentence.

The 31-year-old driver, who was not named throughout the trial, was liable to a one- or two-year jail sentence after being found guilty of road homicide.

But judge Vinicio Canatarini decided to lower the penalty, the reasons for which he will reveal in 90 days’ time.

The driver has also had his driving licence withdrawn and will pay all court costs.

The court heard that Hayden, who was cycling, was struck by a Peugeot 206 at 70km/h on a road in Rimini with a 50km/h speed limit on May 17 last year.

The 35-year-old American died five days later in hospital.

An expert witness for the prosecution alleged the driver could have stopped and “entirely avoided the accident” if he was travelling 20km/h slower.

Defence lawyers argued that Hayden had failed to halt at a stop sign, and was cycling with ear buds in and listening to music.

An official accident report attributed 30% of blame to the car driver.

Evidence included CCTV from a nearby house that captured the fatal collision.

Hayden’s family was not present at the criminal trial, but has launched its own civil action against the driver.

Hayden was racing in the World Superbike Championship with the Ten Kate Honda team at the time of his death.

He had left MotoGP at the end of the 2015 season, though he made two appearances as a stand-in rider the following year – including a one-off return to the factory Honda team with which he had won his title.

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