Mourners packed the funeral of Mikias Tibebu on Wednesday. The Schaumburg High School student was killed last weekend by a driver who did not stop.
Family and friends helped one another cope with the loss.
"It's going to help us a lot. We kind of need it. Just get the last couple tears, last couple moments to celebrate his life now that he's gone," Adam Lewis, Schaumburg High School student.
"He's impacted us, and we know how much we have to live every day because tomorrow's not guaranteed," said Shaun Palmer, Schaumburg High School student.
A reward is now being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the driver who killed the 18-year-old.
Tibebu was found lying unconscious in the middle of the road at 12:38 early Saturday morning . Nurses from a nearby seniors' community immediately offered aid, but it was too late.
Wednesday, like parents everywhere who worry about the safety of their kids, members of the local Ethiopian community are mourning a young man who was showing he was well on his way to realizing the American dream.
"This is a very sad time for the Ethiopian community. Very sad to see such a young boy with so much potential pass away in such a tragic way," said Eden Tekle.
A scholar and athlete, beloved by his cross country and track teammates, and hailed by his principal as a model citizen of Schaumburg High, Mikias Tibebu was laid to rest Wednesday.
As hundreds milled about the hearse with his casket as it left the funeral home in Chicago, members of the Ethiopian-American community and family lamented the loss
"They're not doing well. And hopefully they'll find a closure and what happened to him," said Desalegn Kassa, Tibebu family friend.
Schaumburg police say the teenager was with friends at a nearby mall earlier Friday night just hours before he was hit.