An investigation into the fatal car crash involving Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim is close to a conclusion and has determined that the coach was driving within or near the speed limit when it occurred, according to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.
Boeheim was behind the wheel of a GMC Acadia that struck and killed 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez at 11:30 p.m. last Wednesday after Boeheim swerved to avoid a disabled vehicle on a dark, icy highway after Syracuse’s game against Louisville. Jimenez was one of four people who had been in the disabled car, which had skidded on a patch of ice into a guardrail in the center median. Only one of the four had made it from the disabled 2011 Dodge Charger, which was blocking two lanes of traffic, into the median when the collision occurred.
“Watch out! The car’s coming! Move!” Osvaldo Ivan Rivera, one of the passengers waiting next to the guardrail, yelled in Spanish when he saw approaching headlights, according to a Syracuse.com interview. Boeheim swerved between the vehicle and the guardrail, his mirror clipping Rivera and breaking five of his ribs. The car struck Jimenez and threw him into the median. Boeheim remained at the scene, Rivera and his girlfriend, Mayra Quinones, told Syracuse.com, checking on passengers and flagging down drivers to warn them. He has been cooperating with the investigation and coached Syracuse in its loss to Duke three days later. He clearly was moved by a standing ovation of support he received from the record crowd, and spoke about how the night would stay with him forever.
“First and foremost, to the Jimenez family, I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement in the loss of their loved one, Jorge Jimenez,” Boeheim said. “The grief and pain his family is feeling at this time is, simply put, unimaginable. Juli [Boeheim’s wife], my family and I are heartbroken. I love this community and to see so many of my fellow community members rally around the Jimenez family is a reminder of how special Central New York is.”
He said he decided to coach in the game because he felt he owed it to his players, but said, “This is never going away. Tuesday, it’s not going to be any better. It’s not going to be any better next week. It’s not going to be any better next month. It’s not going to be any better next year.
“This is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.”
Jimenez’s funeral is Thursday.
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