Rose Minutaglio
May 22, 2017 02:29 PM

Former MotoGP world champion and one of PEOPLE’s hottest bachelors of 2005 Nicky Hayden died on Monday, five days after he was hit by a car while riding a bicycle.

He was just 35 years old.

Hayden suffered major cerebral damage and multiple traumatic injuries in Italy and was being treated at an Italian hospital. Maurizio Bufalini Hospital in Cesana announced his death, reports ESPN.

“The medical team has verified the death of the patient Nicholas Patrick Hayden, who has been undergoing care since last Wednesday May 17 in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena following a very serious polytrauma which occurred the same day,” the hospital statement said in a statement.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

According to ESPN, Hayden was training in Italy following a motorcycle race at Imola, a town near Bologna. A black Peugeot car reportedly hit him and smashed its front windshield.

Authorities have opened an investigation and are questioning the 30-year-old driver of the vehicle.

Hayden was selected as one of PEOPLE’s hottest bachelors in 2005.

“Racing is what I grew up doing, it’s in my family’s blood. I’m pretty happy-go-lucky,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “I travel so much, I’ve met a lot of chicks in airports.” 

At the time of publication, he was just in his third year of racing for Honda on the top international circuit.

He later went on to win the MotoGP title in 2006. During his career with Honda and Ducati, he posted three victories and 28 podium finishes in 218 races, reports ESPN.

Last year he switched to the World Superbike championship where he finished fifth.

Riding for the Red Bull Honda team, he was 13th in Superbike this season.

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