Owensboro Says Goodbye to Nicky Hayden at Visitation

Nicky Hayden’s funeral visitation ran from two to eight pm Sunday at the Haley-McGinnis funeral home. During those six hours, hundreds came in and out, paying tribute to the “Kentucky Kid.”

For so many, the tragedy of Hayden’s death has yet to sink in.

"No, not really. It was a tremendous blow. And it's a tremendous blow to the family. I mean the whole family is just rocked,” Bruce Jordan said. Jordan has been best friends with Hayden’s uncle since high school, and watched the thirty-five year old grow up.

The impact of Hayden's death goes beyond his family. The world of motor cycle racing, and Hayden’s hometown Owensboro community are forced to say goodbye to a person who was “always smiling, helping people out,” according to another family friend, Cody Weakley.

Fans who waited in lines to watch race after race waited in a different kind of line.

"We waited in line probably a hour and a half, something like that. Yeah, they had his motorcycle in there, and the motorcycle he won the world championship with,” Weakley said.

Some, like Jordan, came from long distances to pay their respect.

"I would've been here regardless. I mean it was very important for me to come and support the family,” Jordan said.

Weakley is all too familiar with tragedy.

"Actually i used to race back, back in the 80s, late 70s,” Weakley said. “My dad passed in 1982 on a motorcycle, and I just, I got out of racing, and started following him."

Like a tough opponent on the race track, grief is difficult to overcome, but when the people who love Nicky Hayden do move past it, they'll remember what he meant to so many.

"He’s just an icon in American motorcycle racing, and I don't think he ever made an enemy, and he treated everybody, kids to adults, with the upmost respect, and he was thankful that he had fans,” Jordan said.

The funeral service will be Monday at noon at St. Stephen Cathedral.


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