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Syracuse hoops coach Jim Boeheim 'heartbroken' over deadly crash, sympathizes with victim's family

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By JANA BARNELLO, WSTM

SYRACUSE N.Y. (CIRCA via WSTM) — Syracuse men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim says he is "heartbroken" over a crash on Interstate 690 on Wednesday night that left a man dead.

Boeheim released the following statement Thursday around noon.

"I am 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. Out of respect for those involved, I will not be providing further comment at this time."

Investigators say the driver of a car lost control and hit a guardrail around 11:30 p.m. on I-690 East. They say multiple people in the car got out and walked on the highway within "close proximity to that vehicle."

Police say Boeheim noticed the disabled car and tried to avoid the vehicle, which was in the middle of the road. That's when police say Boeheim hit 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, of Syracuse, who was standing on the side of the road.

"Frankly it's almost miraculous that we're not talking about the death of Jim Boeheim," said Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick. "Because he was speeding toward this black monolith sitting in the deepest, darkest portion of 690. We gotta put some lights in that area."

Fitzpatrick appeared live on Circa partner WTVH on Thursday evening and said he has spoken with Boeheim's attorney, who told him that Boeheim wants to meet with the victim's family.

"He immediately, through his attorney and through (his wife) Juli, he wanted to speak to the family," Fitzpatrick said. "And because there's a legal investigation going on, there could be a lawsuit. It's probably not a good idea right now. But he wants the family to know he would do anything to undo what happened. And he's just heartbroken."

Fitzpatrick would be the one to ultimately decide whether Boeheim would face any criminal charges, but both he and Syracuse Chief of Police Kenton Buckner said that so far, the investigation leads them to believe this was a "tragic accident."

Boeheim will coach in the team's home game Saturday against Duke.

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