NJ Cousin of NBA's Top Draft Pick Dies in Hit-and-Run | NECN
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NJ Cousin of NBA's Top Draft Pick Dies in Hit-and-Run

His cousin, Ben Simmons, was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Newly released surveillance video shows the car that authorities say hit and killed the 21-year-old cousin of NBA's top draft pick Ben Simmons in Hoboken early Saturday. Ray Villeda reports. (Published Tuesday, June 28, 2016)

    A 21-year-old cousin of the NBA's top draft pick was killed early Saturday by what police say was a hit-and-run driver.

    Zackhary Simmons, of Ramsey, New Jersey, was struck at about 3:30 a.m. at Willow Avenue and 6th Street in Hoboken, police said.

    His cousin, Ben Simmons, who was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night as the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, expressed his sadness on social media. 

    "Hearing the news this morning is a reminder to never forget the important things in life," he wrote in a Twitter post.

    He also posted a photo of himself wearing a Sixers cap with his cousin.

    Zackhary Simmons was taken to Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 4:25 a.m., police said.

    Authorities are searching for the driver of a large SUV who hit Simmons before fleeing the scene.

    The vehicle, possibly a Yukon, Tahoe or Escalade, is also believed to have a New York registration.

    Authorities are reviewing surveillance video obtained from a nearby funeral home.

    Residents in the area said they aren’t surprised to hear about the hit-and-run. Jesse Bradshaw, of Hoboken, said the streets are often cramped and motorists are driving irresponsibly.

    "They need to follow the rules," Bradshaw said. "People need to slow down."