Syracuse Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim Struck and Killed Man While Driving Home After Winning Game
"I am heartbroken that a member of our community died as the result of last night's accident," Boeheim said in a statement
Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a man while driving his car along a central New York highway, the university confirmed in a statement posted to social media.
According to WSYR, Boeheim was driving along Interstate 690 in Syracuse late Wednesday night when he noticed a vehicle stalled in the middle of the road.
When he swerved out of the way to avoid hitting the car, which had crashed into a guardrail moments beforehand due to bad weather, the 74-year-old coach hit the passenger who had stepped out of the stricken vehicle, according to the outlet.
Police have identified the man as Jorge Jimenez, 51. Jimenez, who is originally from Cuba, was pronounced dead after being taken to a nearby hospital, the news station reported.
The Syracuse Police Department, who did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment, told WSYR that Boeheim has not been given any tickets, did not test positive for drugs or alcohol and was driving at the proper speed at the time of the collision.
Boeheim — who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005 — was returning home from dinner after securing a victory over Louisville earlier that night, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick told ESPN.
“It’s just a terrible, unfortunate accident,” Fitzpatrick told the sports outlet. “We don’t yet know [exactly] what caused the initial accident. Coach Boeheim was not involved in that accident. The occupants of the vehicle, including the deceased, were wandering in the road.”
While an investigation into both the initial crash and the one Boeheim was involved in is still ongoing, Fitzpatrick believes the coach will not face charges.
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“Not from law enforcement, unless something extraordinary or bizarre comes to our attention that we’re not aware of,” he told Yahoo. “In terms of a strict reconstruction of the accident, it’s just a tragedy.”
Meanwhile, Boeheim released a statement on Thursday morning expressing his remorse.
“I am heartbroken that a member of our community died as the result of last night’s accident,” Boeheim said in a post on the Syracuse men’s basketball Twitter page. “Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time.”
The university’s athletics director, John Wildhack, also released a statement in response to the tragedy.
“We are saddened by the death of a member of our central New York community,” Wildhack wrote.
“On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident,” he continued. “Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully.”
According to the school, Boeheim has coached the men’s basketball team for over four decades and has led Syracuse to 32 trips into the NCAA Tournament — including five Final Four appearances — and the NCAA championship in 2003. He is a former student of the university and joined the basketball team as a walk-on in 1962.