Speaking publicly Saturday for the first time since he struck and killed a pedestrian in a traffic accident, an emotional Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim expressed deep sympathy to the family of 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez, who died Wednesday.
"First and foremost, to the the Jimenez family, I want them to know how truly devastated I am for my involvement in the loss of their loved one, Jorge Jiminez," Boeheim said.
Boeheim made his comments in his postgame news conference following the Orange's 75-65 loss to No. 1 Duke at the Carrier Dome.
"This is something that will be with me for the rest of my life," Boeheim said. "There's nothing like this when a human life is lost and you are there. I can't describe it to you."
When Boeheim walked onto the court of the Carrier Dome, he received a warm welcome. Boeheim and the Orange beat Duke earlier this season at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, North Carolina, and they took a 5-point lead into halftime before falling to the Blue Devils.
"My decision to coach this game, I felt the responsibility and obligation to my players, the members of my basketball team," Boeheim said. "I recruited these young men to come play at Syracuse University, they needed me to try to 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."
Earlier Saturday, Syracuse held a moment of silence before its game against the Blue Devils to honor the.
Jimenez was walking on Interstate 690 when he was struck by Boeheim's car. The car he was a passenger in had lost control and struck a guardrail moments earlier, police say.
The crowd went silent to honor Jimenez before the game.
Syracuse (18-9, 9-5 ACC) faces North Carolina on Tuesday. Boeheim said that, in the wake of the tragedy, it will take him much longer to recover than before then.
"This is never going away," he said. "Tuesday, it's not going to be better. It's not going to be better next month. It's not going to be better next year."