Delmarva Restaurateur Matt Haley Dies Following Motorcycle Crash - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Restaurateur Matt Haley Dies Following Motorcycle Crash in India

Posted: Updated: Aug 20, 2014 08:44 PM
Restaurateur and chef Matt Haley is shown during a recent appearance on the WBOC program DelmarvaLife. Restaurateur and chef Matt Haley is shown during a recent appearance on the WBOC program DelmarvaLife.

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Prominent Delmarva restaurateur and chef Matt Haley, founder and CEO of Matt Haley Companies, has died from injuries sustained Monday in a motorcycle crash in Leh, India. He was 53.

Haley was on a six-week humanitarian mission through Northwestern India and Nepal, according to Scott Kammerer, president and COO of the Matt Haley Companies, via a statement posted on

Kammerer said Wednesday he was told by State Department officials that Haley died Tuesday night during a medical flight from Leh to New Delhi, India.

According to Kammerer, Haley was involved in a “high impact” collision with a truck Monday, at the beginning of his humanitarian trip. Haley has devoted significant time and resources to humanitarian efforts in the area, and was traveling with international filmmaker and motorcycle expert Guarav Jani. Kammerer said Haley was also his best friend.

"Matt impacted me in a lot of different ways," he said. "He made me a better person, a better operator, a better restaurateur, a better father."

During the trip, Haley posted on his social media accounts about the motorcycle trip he was taking. .

On Aug. 11, he wrote on Facebook, "I was on the beach yesterday in Rehoboth Beach De. Today I'll be on a motorcycle headed to Lahdak, India for a three week high altitude motorcycle ride at heights up to 18,500 feet on the highest and some say most dangerous roads in the world on the Pakistan boarder."

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell extended his deepest sympathies to the Haley's family on Wednesday, and issued this statement:

"Carla and I are devastated by the loss of our friend, Matt Haley," Haley said. "We joined Matt just last month at two of his restaurants and were inspired by his plans to bring his message of making the most of second chances and the importance of a healthy recovery to people across Delaware and the country. He was a world-class humanitarian and we will miss him greatly. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Koons also spoke on Haley's passing, saying, “Matt Haley was one of the most remarkable people I've ever met. He was so much more than a talented chef and celebrated restaurateur — he was such a good man. He was a great Delawarean. He was a friend. His death is heartbreaking. I'm going to miss his friendship, generosity, and compassion, and his passionate commitment to our community. My heart aches for his family and friends.”

“Matt got a second chance at life and vowed to seize it,” Coons said. “He was a reminder to all of us that we should embrace life and live it fully and graciously and gratefully every single day. His spirit, enthusiasm, and creativity were infectious. He endlessly sought and found opportunities to make a difference in people's lives. He didn't seek attention for his good works, but he certainly deserved it.”

“It's devastating news for all of Delaware, but in particular, the Sussex County community where his caring, giving presence was most clearly felt,” added U.S. Congressman John Carney. He was a tremendous ambassador for the state of Delaware, and worked tirelessly to leverage his success for the good of others. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. He will be greatly missed.”

Alyssa Titus, president of Rehoboth Beach Main Street, said as a fellow business owner in Rehoboth Beach, she knows he will not be forgotten.

"He did so much for the restaurant business in Sussex County and especially the Rehoboth/Lewes area," she explained. "He definitely mentored so many chefs, he was always there if another restaurant person needed a hand, he was known to just jump in their line and help them out for the night, so he's just an awesome guy."

Haley was the 2014 recipient of the James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award.

Haley's Delaware restaurants include Lupo di Mare and Papa Grande's, both in Rehoboth Beach, Fish On in Lewes, NorthEast Seafood Kitchen in Ocean View, Matt's Fish Camp and Bluecoast, both in Bethany Beach, and Catch 54 and Papa Grande's in Fenwick Island.

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