Cousin of Ben Simmons, 76ers draft pick, killed in hit-and-run in New Jersey

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76ers first round draft pick Ben Simmons is mourning the death of his cousin. (

Ben Simmons, the first pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Draft, is mourning the loss of his cousin who was killed in a hit-and-run crash in New Jersey.

"Hearing the news this morning is a reminder to never forget the important things in life," Ben Simmons wrote on his Twitter page.

The fatal collision happened around 3:30 a.m. Saturday on Willow Avenue and 6th Street in Hoboken.

Police say 21-year-old Zachary Simmons of Ramsey, New Jersey was hit while walking home from a friend's birthday party.

Police say Zachary was in the crosswalk when an SUV crashed into him, sending him into a parked car.

Zachary Simmons was pronounced dead a short time later at Jersey City Medical Center.

According to witness John McKnight, Simmons was walking with a friend at the time.

Police are talking to that friend and other witnesses.

Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari says police are looking for a large black SUV, such as a Yukon, Tahoe or Escalade, with New York plates.

The Hudson County Sheriff's Office released a picture of the vehicle from surveillance video:

Police are trying to see if a camera picked up the actual license plate number and model of the vehicle. Witnesses say the SUV was speeding.

Zachary Simmons attended the NBA Draft with Ben in New York City on Thursday night.

After learning of the tragedy, Ben Simmons tweeted, "I'm glad I could share this moment in my life with you. Rest in peace Cuzzo . Much love Zachary Simmons #rip."

Anyone with information should contact The Hudson County Sheriff's Crash Investigation Unit or the Hoboken Police Department.
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