Hit-and-run accident kills Schaumburg student

December 8, 2012 (SCHAUMBURG, Ill.)

The Schaumburg Police Department issued a community alert in the hopes that it will find the driver and/or vehicle that killed 18-year-old Mikias Tibebu.

A moment of silence was observed at Saturday night's basketball game at Schaumburg High School. The senior class, in particular, is still struggling to absorb the loss.

"It's just awful," said friend Joe Vladislav. "I woke up and the first text I got was, 'Did you hear what happened?' and was in disbelief."

"It was hard to process it for a while but then I started remembering all the memories we had together," said friend Jennings La Berg. "He was just a great person. He was a ball of happiness."

Tibebu was killed just before 1 a.m. Saturday by a hit-and-run driver on Schaumburg Road and Branchwood Drive. Two nurses from a nearby senior home found him and performed CPR until first responders arrived, but it was already too late.

"We want to find the driver and the vehicle," said Schaumburg Police Sargent John Nebl said. "We hope they have a conscience and turn themselves in. But almost as importantly, we are looking for any potential witnesses, anybody that could have been in the area between 12:15 and 12:45. Please contact us."

A straight-A student at Schaumburg High, the Ethiopian-born teenager was also a gifted athlete, a member of the school's varsity track and cross country teams looking forward to an athletic scholarship for college next year.

"I've known him for four years," said cross country coach Scott Lilley. "Great group of guys. We do a lot together. Numbing at first, very numbing, hard to come to cope with it."

The Tibebu family is not talking, but earlier a family friend spoke for Mikias' parents

"Please, please, whoever saw this accident, please come tell us," said Befekadu Retta.

Later Saturday night, Schaumburg Police will be back out at the intersection where Tibebu was killed, handing out fliers.

They are hoping to target those same early morning hours in which the teenager was killed, in hopes of finding regular drivers in the area that can lead them to the hit-and-run driver.

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