Hillsborough, N.C. — After 31 years as Orange County Sheriff, Lindy Pendergrass has decided to call it quits, and he will retire at the end of his term in December 2014.
The announcement follows two recent car crashes in the county involving the 79-year-old sheriff, although he said he had decided to retire before the wrecks.
Last month, Pendergrass failed to yield the right of way and was hit by a car, according to a wreck report. Earlier this year, he caused a three-car wreck at the intersection of South Churton and Nash & Kollock streets in Hillsborough. He told police that the traffic light changed quickly, and he wasn't able to stop in time.
"Everybody, at some time in their life, if they drove as much as I have, will have a hiccup," Pendergrass said in a statement. "I'm embarrassed and sorry that it happened. I'm glad no one got hurt."
Orange County residents said they are interested to see who follows in the long-time sheriff's footsteps.
"I think Lindy has done a fantastic job," resident Joel Johnson said. "I hope his counterpart or the person taking over will do as good a job."
"Sometimes, some fresh new ideas are not a bad thing," resident Lori Berry said.
Filing for the 2014 sheriff's election opens in February.