June 25, 2016
Ben Simmons had been having a great week, but he and his family were struck by tragedy only two days after the Sixers made him the top-overall pick in the NBA Draft.
Just over 24 hours after attending the draft in Brooklyn to be part of his family's big moment, Simmons’ 21-year-old cousin Zachary was killed by a hit-and-run in Hoboken, New Jersey early Saturday morning according to CBS New York:
Zachary Simmons, 21, of Ramsey, was struck and killed by a black SUV around 3:30 a.m. Saturday at Willow Avenue and Sixth Street. The impact was so great witnesses reported hearing two loud thuds.
The victim’s grieving mother, Monique Steele, told CBS2’s Steve Langford that police told her the car was going at least 70 miles an hour.
“To be speeding enough to kill my child is beyond me,” Steele said.
While Ben Simmons was born and raised in Australia, his father David is a New York City native that played professionally for the Melbourne Tigers.
Zachary Simmons was reportedly out for a friend’s birthday earlier on Friday evening. Police are still trying to identify the SUV, a “black Cadillac Escalade, Yukon, or Tahoe.”