Former UNC women’s basketball coach Hatchell pleads guilty in deadly traffic collision

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Former UNC-Chapel Hill women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge in connection with a fatal traffic collision in January.

Hatchell, 68, the third coach in women’s basketball history to record 1,000 career wins, coached for UNC from 1986-2019.

She was involved in a collision on Jan. 6 that killed 89-year-old Betty Colb, who died two days later. The collision occurred around noon in the parking lot at 6118 Farrington Road near O2 Fitness Center, the Durham police said.

Hatchell was making a slow left turn when Colby was struck. The 89-year-old fell backward and hit her head on the pavement, police said. At the time, Hatchell was cited with misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement violation.

On Tuesday, Hatchell pleaded guilty to misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

She received a 30-day suspended sentence, six months of unsupervised probation and was ordered to pay a $150 fine. She must also pay $190 in court costs.

Further details on the plea could be available later Wednesday.

Colby was an active volunteer at the Magic Wings Butterfly House at the Durham Museum of Life and Science at the time of her death. Betty and her husband, Ron, started volunteering at the butterfly house in 1999.

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