SU basketball coach Jim Boeheim hits, kills, man on I-690 in Syracuse

Feb 21, 2019

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Thursday

Syracuse police say Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim struck and killed a man while driving on Interstate 690 East near Thompson Road late Wednesday. 

According to police, the victim, 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez of Syracuse, was walking in the roadway just after 11 p.m. Wednesday when he was struck by Boeheim's vehicle. Jimenez was taken to Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse where he was pronounced dead. 

Police say Jimenez was in a vehicle that had lost control and hit a guardrail. The occupants of that vehicle then got out of the car, which came to a stop in the middle of the highway. Police say Boeheim swerved to avoid hitting the vehicle, and hit Jimenez. It isn't known how fast Boeheim was traveling at the time of the crash.

Boeheim, 74, called 911 and has been cooperative with police. He was given a field sobriety and alco-sensor test, both of which were negative. The driver of the vehicle involved in the earlier crash also passed a sobriety test. Police say they are still investigating the accident. No tickets have been issued at this time. 

In a statement, Boeheim said he was "heartbroken that a member of our community died as the result of last night’s accident. Juli and I extend our deepest sympathies to the Jimenez family."

Boeheim has coached at Syracuse for more than 40 years. The SU basketball team defeated Louisville last night 69-49. The team next plays Duke on Saturday. 

Statement from Syracuse Police

The Syracuse Police Department investigates a fatal crash. On Thursday, February 21, 2019, at about 11:22 P.M., the Syracuse Police Department responded to 690 East near Thompson Road for a crash. Upon Officers arrival, they found a 51 year old victim, Jorge Jimenez, of Syracuse who had been struck by a vehicle. The victim was transported to Upstate University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The Syracuse Police Department Traffic Section commenced an investigation. As a result of that investigation so far, it was revealed that the victim was an occupant in a vehicle that had lost control on the highway striking a guard rail. 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 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. No Uniformed Traffic Tickets have been issued at this time.

This investigation is still active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Syracuse Police Department at 442-5222. All calls will be kept confidential. Anonymous information may also be submitted by using the “SPD Tips” App, available on Android and iPhones.

Statement from Syracuse University Director of Athletics John Wildhack

We are saddened by the death of a member of our Central New York community. 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.