Woman charged with hitting, killing 98-year-old in Food Lion parking lot in Orange County

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Thursday, October 29, 2020
98-year-old woman dies after being struck by vehicle in Orange Co.
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A 98-year-old woman has died after being struck by a vehicle while crossing a Food Lion parking lot just outside of Hillsborough on Saturday.

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A woman has been charged after a 98-year-old woman was hit and killed in a Food Lion parking lot in Hillsborough over the weekend.

Mindy Espinoza, 43, of Durham, was charged with Misdemeanor Death by Vehicle and an unsafe movement violation. First responders found Nell Richardson seriously hurt from the crash in front of Food Lion in the 100 block of N. Scottswood Boulevard off Highway 70.

Espinoza immediately tried to help Richardson, according to Orange County deputies. She stayed at the scene and cooperated with deputies as they investigated the incident.

Richardson, 98, was rushed to Duke Hospital where she later died from injuries.

"Ms. Richardson's death captures our attention for many reasons, one of which is certainly her age," said Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood. "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."

Espinoza's first court date in the case will be Dec. 10.