Former North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell charged in death of elderly pedestrian

Sylvia Hatchell, who coached UNC women's basketball for more than three decades, was cited after 89-year-old Betty Colby was struck and killed by a car in a parking lot this week. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)
Sylvia Hatchell, who coached UNC women's basketball for more than three decades, was cited after 89-year-old Betty Colby was struck and killed by a car in a parking lot this week. (AP/Tony Gutierrez)

Former North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, who led the program for more than three decades, was charged in connection with the death of an 89-year-old woman on Friday, according to The News & Observer. 

Hatchell was cited with misdemeanor death by vehicle and an unsafe movement violation after Betty Colby was hit by a vehicle in the parking lot of a fitness center on Monday. Colby was knocked backward, per reports, and hit her head on the pavement. She died two days later.

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According to police, neither impairment nor speed were factors in the accident. 

Hatchell led the Tar Heels from 1986-2019, winning 751 games, eight ACC titles and one national championship during her time in Chapel Hill. The Hall of Famer is also the only women’s basketball coach to win a national title at three different levels, as she also won at AIAW and NAIA schools. 

Hatchell resigned last year, however, after an investigation alleged that she made racially insensitive comments, once referenced a noose in an effort to motivate her team, and pressured her players to play while injured — allegations that she has denied.

Hatchell and her attorney did not respond to requests to comment from The News & Observer on Friday.

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