OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The wife of Oklahoma City Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams died Wednesday evening at a hospital from injuries suffered in a car crash, police said.
The 44-year-old Ingrid Williams was involved in a crash Tuesday night. An oncoming car crossed the center line and hit her SUV just outside of downtown Oklahoma City, said police Capt. Paco Valderrama. That driver was pronounced dead at the scene, Valderrrama said.
The Thunder issued a statement expressing “deep sorrow” and saying the team would support Williams “in every way possible.” Williams joined the Thunder this season after five seasons as the New Orleans Pelicans head coach.
A statement on behalf of the Pelicans’ owners said Ingrid Williams will be remembered “as one of the most generous, kind and humble individuals we’ve ever known.”
The Pelicans held a moment of silence for her before tip-off of their game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night. Monty Williams was hired by New Orleans to his first and only head coaching job in 2010 and fired after last season. He helped guide New Orleans to the postseason twice and had a record of 173-221.
Denver coach Michael Malone became choked up while talking about Williams’ death after his team’s win over the Detroit Pistons.
“I apologized to the team. The first half, I coached very angry,” he said. “I don’t know if you guys heard, Monty Williams, a good friend of mine, his wife was killed in an accident.”
After a long pause, he said, “So I apologized to them because it’s taking my anger out on them, and they don’t deserve that.”
Pelicans star Anthony Davis spent three seasons with Williams as his coach.
He said in a tweet: “Completely devastated. Ingrid Williams was like a 2nd mother to me when I got to NOLA. My thoughts & prayers are with Monty & the family.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the oncoming car to swerve. An investigation is ongoing.
Monty Williams was the 24th pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. He played nine seasons with New York, San Antonio, Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia.