Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim will not be charged in last month’s fatal highway accident, and the case has been closed.
Onondaga County, New York, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said Thursday that Boeheim was “not reckless.”
Fitzpatrick said that after reviewing the police accident report, he decided to exercise his discretion in declining to file charges.
Boeheim accidentally killed 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez at 11:20 p.m. on Feb. 20 while trying to avoid a disabled car.
The coach swerved in his SUV to avoid the car, which was perpendicular across two lanes.
He struck Jimenez, who had exited the car and was standing near the guardrail.
According to the report, Boeheim was driving 66 mph five seconds before impact and about 54 mph at impact.
The report concluded that speed was not a contributing factor to the accident.
There was no evidence that drugs or alcohol played a role.
Boeheim talked about the crash in the emotional aftermath of his team’s 75-65 loss to top-ranked Duke on Feb. 23.
“This is something that will be with me for the rest of my life,” he said. “Tuesday it’s not going to be better. It’s not going to be better next week. It’s not going to be better next month. It’s not going to be better next year. This is something that’s there forever for me.”
The Duke game was Boeheim’s first public appearance after the accident, and he was greeted with a loud cheer from the record crowd of 35,642 at the Carrier Dome.
“I can’t describe the feelings I’ve had since Wednesday night,” he said. “I don’t think I can make anyone understand who hasn’t been there. I don’t.
“I’ve always felt in life, you get a lot of things you have to overcome. There’s nothing like this when a human life is lost and you are there. I can’t describe it to you.”
There was a moment of silence before that game for Jimenez and his family — that came after an introduction in English and Spanish.
Boeheim said he had been in touch with the Jimenez family.
“I intend to try and do that as I can in the future,” he said. “This is isn’t about me, it doesn’t matter how I feel. It’s about how they feel and what’s happened to them. There’s just nothing I can say about it.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.