Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday's accident that resulted in the death of pedestrian Jorge Jimenez is "something that will be with me for the rest of my life."
Boeheim was driving on on Interstate 690 in Syracuse, N.Y., after his team's win over Louisville on Wednesday when his vehicle struck and killed a man. The accident's victim reportedly exited his vehicle near Thompson Road in Syracuse around midnight before he was struck by Boeheim's car.
Conditions in Syracuse were "icy" according to Thursday's report, though it's unclear whether the conditions affected Boeheim's involvement in Wednesday's accident. Boeheim's blood-alcohol content test showed that he had no alcohol in his system.
The Syracuse coach took the court Saturday night against Duke for the first time since the tragic accident.
"First and foremost, to the Jimenez family, I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement in the loss of their loved one, Jorge Jimenez," Boeheim said in a postgame statement. "The grief and pain his family is feeling at this time is, simply put, unimaginable. Juli, my family and I are heartbroken. I love this community, and to see so many of my fellow community members rally around the Jimenez family is a reminder of how special central New York is."
"My decision to coach this game, all I can say is, I felt the responsibility and obligation to my players, the members of my basketball team," Boeheim added. "I recruited these young men to come play at Syracuse University, they needed me to try and do my job tonight, and they understand I did this feeling fully the weight of the tragic accident and its impact on the Jimenez family. This is something that will be with me, for the rest of my life."
Syracuse held a moment of silence for Jimenez before the game. The record crowd at the Carrier Dome embraced Boeheim with a standing ovation. Boeheim briefly acknowledged the crowd.
"I've been here all my life," he said. "They've always been supportive. And I think they know how bad I feel, and I just thought they were there to support our team and me. And it's an unimaginable situation. I can't describe the feelings I've had since Wednesday night. I don't think I can make anyone understand who hasn't been there. This is something that's there forever for me.
"It's one of those things," Boeheim continued. "There's a lot of things in there that you have to overcome, but there's nothing, there is nothing like this, when a human life is lost and you're there. I just can't, I can't describe it to you."
Syracuse fell 75–65 on the night.