Former UNC women's basketball coach charged in pedestrian's death

Sylvia Hatchell, 67, was cited for misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement after an accident killed an elderly pedestrian in Durham.
Image: North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell instructs her team in the second half of a first round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Waco
North Carolina head coach Sylvia Hatchell instructs her team in the second half of a first round women's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Waco, Texas on March 23, 2019.Tony Gutierrez / AP file

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By Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. — The former women's basketball coach at the University of North Carolina has been charged in connection with an accident that killed an elderly pedestrian, police said Friday.

Durham police said in a news release that Sylvia Hatchell, 67, was cited for misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement violation.

Betty Colby, 89, was struck by a vehicle about noon Monday in the parking lot of a fitness center, police said. The impact knocked Colby backward, and she hit her head on the pavement, investigators said.

Colby died Wednesday, according to the news release.

Investigators also said that neither speed nor impairment were factors in the accident.

Hatchell resigned as women's basketball coach last April after an external review found she had made "racially insensitive" comments and applied "undue influence" regarding players' ability to compete through medical issues. The review conducted by a Charlotte law firm also revealed "a breakdown of connectivity between the players and Hatchell" after 28 interviews of current players and program personnel.

Hatchell didn't immediately return a text message from The Associated Press on Friday night. Wade Smith, an attorney who has worked with Hatchell previously, responded to a text from the AP that he hadn't been in contact with Hatchell. He offered no additional comment.