Driver charged with hitting, killing 98-year-old woman in NC Food Lion parking lot

Driver charged with hitting, killing 98-year-old woman in NC Food Lion parking lot
Mindy Espinoza (Source: WNCN via Orange County Sheriff's Office)

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN)– A woman has been charged after a 98-year-old woman was hit by a car in a parking lot and later died, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

Mindy Espinoza, 43, of Durham, was charged Wednesday with misdemeanor death by vehicle and an unsafe movement violation, the sheriff’s office said.

The charges come after Nell Richardson, of Hillsborough, died as a result of injuries she received while walking from her car toward the Food Lion entrance on Oct. 24, the sheriff’s office said.

Following the crash, deputies said Espinoza immediately tried to help Richardson. Espinoza stayed at the scene and cooperated with deputies as they investigated the incident.

“Ms. Richardson’s death captures our attention for many reasons, one of which is certainly her age. To be independently driving and grocery shopping at 98 years of age is remarkable. Of course, any loss of life in a preventable situation is tragic. I hope everyone will take this opportunity to reflect upon the importance of remaining alert while driving. Maintaining concentration and fighting against distraction are the most difficult parts of operating a vehicle. Those tasks deserve our active commitment any time we get behind the wheel,” Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement.

Espinoza is scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 10.

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