New details are emerging about a teenager who was killed Sunday when he fell beneath a moving train on the east side of Des Moines.
For the rest of his life, Easter will be different for Marlon Grahm. It’s the day he watched his best friend die.
Grahm and his friends had been drinking and were walking down Des Moines Street early Sunday morning when his long time buddy, 18-year-old Phillip Simmons decided to jump on a slow passing train.
“I said ‘hey bro, we’re not messing with that train bro. We’re not gonna jump it no more.’ And he goes up to it to try to jump it and I grab him. I say ‘no bro. You’re not going, you’re not going to go to that train. You’re not gonna to try jumping it.’ And I turned and looked for everybody else and I turned back towards him and he’s running back towards it again.”
Then, tragedy struck.
“He grabs it and it just knocks him over and he landed perfectly on the rail road track,” Grahm added.
Shawneesha Clark was also there.
“He put his foot up. He was on it. And the train jerked and he like lost his footing. And I don’t know how he fell the way he did. It looks like he should have fell off of the tracks completely. But he didn’t. He fell into them. And he put his arm out for help. We couldn’t help him.”
Friends and family will remember Simmons as a practical joker who always had a smile on his face.
“He had a big smile. He was very friendly, had a very big heart and he lived life the way he wanted to right now,” aunt Amanda Gamblin said.
Police are trying to figure out who provided alcohol to the teens. That person could face charges.
A candle light vigil for Simmons is planned Tuesday evening along the tracks where he was killed.