12up Logo12up Logo

Former UNC Basketball Coach Sylvia Hatchell Charged in Elderly Woman's Death

Sylvia Hatchell
Sylvia Hatchell coached the North Carolina Tar Heels women's basketball team for 33 seasons. | Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Syvlia Hatchell, who ended a 33-year run at the helm of the North Carolina Tar Heels women's basketball program in spring 2019, has been criminally cited in an incident that tragically led to an elderly woman's death.

As later confirmed by police, Hatchell was operating a vehicle that struck a woman named Betty Colby in a parking lot in Durham, North Carolina Monday. On Wednesday, Colby passed away. She was 89 years old.

On Friday, police confirmed that Hatchell has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and faces an additional citation for unsafe movement.

Hatchell coached the Tar Heels for 33 seasons, winning a national championship in 1994. She won a total of 1,023 games as a college coach, but her exit from UNC was messy -- she resigned in April 2019 after controversy arose over a series of racist remarks she allegedly made toward players.

Police noted that Hatchell was not impaired when the fatal accident occurred, nor was she driving at an unlawful speed. According to North Carolina law, a conviction for misdemeanor death by vehicle is punishible by a fine and no more than 150 days in jail.