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Former UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell pleads guilty to misdemeanor death by vehicle

womens basketball at nc state Sylvia Hatchell
Former Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell talks to the team during a time out against NC State on Sunday, Feb 3, 2019 at Reynolds Coliseum. Hatchell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor death by vehicle after a fatal accident in January.

Former North Carolina women's basketball head coach Sylvia Hatchell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor death by vehicle on Tuesday. In January, Hatchell was involved in a fatal accident that resulted in the death of Betty Colby. 

The accident happened in a parking lot on Farrington Road in Durham, and Hatchell was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle and a moving violation at the time. The police said speed and impairment were not factors in the crash.

A Division of Motor Vehicles incident report said that Hatchell was only driving 2 mph when one of her side mirrors struck Colby, causing her to fall and hit her head on the pavement. Colby died two days later at UNC Hospitals.

Hatchell received a 30-day suspended sentence, six months of unsupervised probation and 50 hours of community service. She also received a $150 fine and is required to pay $190 in court costs.  

Hatchell was the head coach of the North Carolina women's basketball team for 33 seasons. She led the Tar Heels to three NCAA Final Fours and a national championship. She resigned from the program in 2019 following an investigation into allegations of racist remarks.


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