Sports

Syracuse basketball coach kills pedestrian in crash

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a pedestrian on Interstate 690 late Wednesday night.

Police said the victim, 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, was a passenger in a vehicle that crashed into a guard rail about four miles east of downtown Syracuse, N.Y.

“The occupants then exited the vehicle and proceeded to walk on the highway within close proximity to that vehicle,” Syracuse police said in a statement. “An oncoming vehicle noticed the disabled car and tried avoiding the vehicle, which was in the middle of the road.”

Boeheim, the driver of that vehicle, struck Jimenez as he stood near the side of the road, according to police. Jimenez was transported to Upstate University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Boeheim, 74, passed an alcohol test and cooperated with investigators at the scene, the police statement said. He was interviewed by police and released.

No tickets have been issued, but an investigation and accident reconstruction are underway.

Syracuse police said they were called to the scene around 11:22 p.m., about two hours after the end of Syracuse’s win over Louisville at the Carrier Dome.

“We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community,” John Wildhack, Syracuse’s director of athletics, said in a statement. “On behalf of Chancellor Kent Syverud and the entire Syracuse University community, we extend our deepest condolences to all impacted by this tragic accident. Coach Boeheim is in contact with local authorities and cooperating fully. Out of respect for those grieving, there will be no further comment at this time.”

The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office did not immediately reply to messages left by USA TODAY Sports on Thursday morning.

It’s unclear if weather played a role in the initial crash or in Boeheim striking the pedestrian.

Boeheim has been the head coach at Syracuse since 1976, making him the longest-tenured coach in Division I basketball. He has led the Orange to five Final Fours and one national title, in 2003.

Boeheim, who has also worked as an assistant coach with the U.S. Olympic basketball team, was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Syracuse is scheduled to play top-ranked Duke at the Carrier Dome at 6 p.m. on Saturday. It was not immediately known if Boeheim planned to attend practice on Thursday or if he will coach on Saturday.

Contributing: USA TODAY Sports’ Scott Gleeson and Tom Schad

 


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