The life, and career, of an Owensboro man who became a racing icon worldwide is remembered. Nicky Hayden died from injuries suffered in an accident last week.
Flags have been lowered to half staff in Owensboro to remember him. Hayden was hit by a car last week while riding his bicycle in Italy. He passed away today in the hospital.
On the Owensboro Walk of Fame plaque for him and his brothers, two candles and a flower are placed.
“Nicky Hayden, and all of the Hayden brothers, all of them are hometown heroes,” says Owensboro City Commissioner Larry Conder. He put the candles and flower there to remember one of the city’s brightest stars, to honor a star who some described as down to earth.
“When he came home, he was just a hometown boy, which made him different, made him different from everybody else when we think of stars, because he was a superstar,” Conder says.
“If you didn’t know he was a world famous celebrity, you wouldn’t know he was a world famous celebrity,” adds Rosemary Conder, who’s on the Walk of Fame committee. “He was so down to earth and friendly, and always such a home town boy.”
Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson ordered city flags flown to half staff for Hayden. In a statement, Watson said he ‘was saddened to learn of the passing of one of Owensboro’s greatest, who represented our city so well.’ His team, Red Bull Honda World Superbike Racing, said, ‘The Kentucky Kid will be sorely missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting him or the privilege to see him race a motorcycle around a track, be it dirt or asphalt. While his name shined bright in the racing world, it also shined a light on the city and commonwealth the ‘Kentucky Kid’ called home.
“He was the ‘Kentucky Kid’, but he was the ‘Owensboro Kid’ too,” Rosemary says. “We’re so proud of the family and what he accomplished in his sport throughout the world that he gave a lot of recognition to his hometown and was proud to be from here.”
“Whenever you attached Kentucky Kid to a super-athlete like what he was, and be able to do everything he did, that made the difference. You had the Kentucky Kid attached to his name,” Larry adds. “They know of Owensboro because of Nicky Hayden.”