Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim hit and killed a man while driving his car on a Syracuse interstate shortly before midnight Wednesday night, Syracuse Police announced Thursday. The man, 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse, was outside his vehicle after it hit a guardrail in an unrelated crash on Interstate 690 on the city’s eastern fringe when Boeheim struck him. Jimenez was transported to a Syracuse hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“As a result of the investigation so far, it was revealed that the victim was an occupant in a vehicle that had lost control on the highway striking a guard rail,” the Syracuse Police Department said in a statement. “The occupants then exited the vehicle and proceeded to walk on the highway within close proximity to that vehicle. An oncoming vehicle noticed the disabled car and tried avoiding the vehicle which was in the middle of the road. As a result, the driver, James Boeheim, 74, of Fayetteville NY struck the victim who was standing on the side of the road. Both drivers remained on the scene and are cooperating with this investigation. Field sobriety and alco-sensor tests for both drivers were negative for any signs of impairment. Reconstruction of the scene will be performed and speeds cannot be determined at this time.”
The Orange had defeated Louisville earlier Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome in a game that ended around 9 p.m. Eastern.
The longtime Syracuse coach expressed remorse in a statement issued Thursday.
“I am heartbroken that a member of our community died as the result of last night’s accident. [Wife] Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family,” Boeheim wrote. “Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”
No tickets have been issued over the crash, Syracuse Police said. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick told NewsChannel 9 in Syracuse that Boeheim went right to police headquarters after the incident and told Yahoo’s Pete Thamel that there will not be any immediate legal ramifications stemming from the crash.
“Not from law enforcement, unless something extraordinary or bizarre comes to our attention that we’re not aware of,” he told Thamel. “In terms of a strict reconstruction of the accident, it’s just a tragedy.”
According to Michael Benny of WTVH-TV in Syracuse, Boeheim was “shaken by what happened.”
Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack issued an initial statement Thursday morning saying the school was “saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community" and was extending its “deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident.”
Wildhack issued a second statement Thursday afternoon saying, “Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the tragic accident involving Coach Boeheim. The Coach is heartbroken. Coach Boeheim met briefly with his team today but did not attend or participate in practice.”
Syracuse hosts No. 1 Duke on Saturday evening in a game that is expected to break the NCAA’s on-campus attendance record of 35,446, set at the Carrier Dome during a Orange-Blue Devils game in 2014 and matched the next year for the same matchup.
Matthew Gutierrez, in Syracuse, N.Y., contributed to this report.
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