DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa State Patrol officials say icy conditions led to a crash on Sunday night that claimed the life of a Lincoln High School senior.
The crash happened southwest of the Des Moines Airport on Highway 5 on the bridge over Highway 28. The Iowa State Patrol says 46-year-old Famous Rucker lost control of the vehicle, which eventually rolled several times and entered a ditch.
Malik Rucker, 18, died in the crash.
“I broke down. I didn’t know what to say, I was crying, I fell to my knees," said Noah Quijano, a Lincoln High senior and close friend of Malik, recounting the pain he felt after learning about the death.
Balloons representing the sports Malik loved and played now mark the site where he died. Classmates and teammates brought flowers and gathered to remember the athlete.
“He was a good kid to everybody, no matter who you were, and we're gonna remember him that way. This is how we're gonna remember him," Quijano said. “He was a brother to us, to all of us."
Not only was Malik a brother to his friends, he was also a champion on the court.
“When guys were announced, he was that guy doing the goofy stuff at the end of the line, you know, the handshakes, the high fives," Lincoln High Basketball coach Justin Einerson said.
Quijano says Malik's fun-loving legacy will never be forgotten. His heart breaks for Malik's family.
“I rarely saw him mad or sad or in a bad mood. Every time we hung out with him he always made us laugh," Quijano said.
Here is a link to help Malik’s family with funeral costs.