Former UNC women’s basketball Hatchell cited in pedestrian death

The retired coach allegedly struck an 89-year-old, who died from her injuries Wednesday, in a parking lot Monday

Former North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell, pictured in 2018, was cited for misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement violation after her car allegedly struck an 89-year-old women in a parking lot Monday. The women died Wednesday. (Robert Franklin / AP Photo)

DURHAM — Former North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has been charged in connection with an accident that killed an elderly pedestrian, police said Friday.

Durham police said in a news release that 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 coached the UNC women’s basketball team from 1986 to 2019 during which she led the Tar Heels to the 1994 NCAA championship. Hatchell is a survivor of leukemia having been diagnosed in 2013 when she took a hiatus until the 2014-15 season. She became the third coach in women’s basketball history to record 1,000 career wins in 2017. 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’s replacement, Courtney Banghart, got her first big win with the Tar Heels on Thursday when UNC beat previously unbeaten NC State in Chapel Hill.