UPDATE 2: 30 p.m., Feb. 22: Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim will coach Saturday’s game against Duke, days after being involved in a fatal pedestrian crash, university officials announced.
Syracuse University athletic director John Wildhack released the following statement Friday afternoon:
“The Jimenez family has suffered a tremendous loss. Our community is shaken. The Boeheim family is heartbroken over what happened, as we all are. This is a very difficult time. I know that Coach Boeheim’s players gain strength from him, just as he gains strength from his players. Our entire community gains strength from each other. With this in mind, and after thoughtful consideration, I have respectfully decided that Coach Boeheim will resume his coaching duties later today and will coach in tomorrow night’s game against Duke. We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family as they continue to mourn this tragic loss.”
Boeheim met with the team Thursday, but didn’t coach or attend practice Thursday afternoon, ESPN reported.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim hit and killed a man while driving on a Syracuse interstate Wednesday evening, authorities said.
The victim, 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, of Syracuse, was outside his vehicle after hitting a guardrail in an unrelated crash on Interstate 690 when Boeheim struck him, The Washington Post reported. Jimenez was taken to a Syracuse hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“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.”
Boeheim released this statement on the incident Thursday: “I am heartbroken that a member of our community died as a result of last night’s accident. Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”
No traffic tickets related to the incident have been issued at this time, police told Syracuse.com.
Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick confirmed to Syracuse.com that Boeheim’s blood-alcohol level was 0.00. Friends and family of the coach told Syracuse.com that he doesn’t drink.
Boeheim has coached basketball at Syracuse for 41 years, according to his profile on the Syracuse athletics website.