Longtime Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim hit and killed a man walking on a highway while driving late Wednesday night, an incident local police called a “horrible, sad tragedy” during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Boeheim, 74, was driving on Interstate 690 to his home in Fayetteville, a suburb east of Syracuse, after leading the Orange to a 69-49 win over Louisville in a game that ended just before 9 p.m. when he swerved to avoid a vehicle stuck in the middle of the road.
In trying to avoid the car he struck Jorge Jimenez, 51, who had exited the car along with other passengers after they crashed into a guardrail. Authorities said icy weather could have played a factor.
The coach was interviewed by police and took a breathalyzer that revealed he had no alcohol in his system. Sources told Syracuse.com that Boeheim doesn’t drink, something Onondaga County district attorney William Fitzpatrick confirmed at Thursday’s press conference. Syracuse police said it was likely neither Boeheim nor the driver of the other car would be charged or ticketed.
Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack released a statement on Thursday, expressing condolences on behalf of university chancellor Kent Syverud.
“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” he said.
Boeheim also released a statement, saying he was heartbroken about the incident.