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updated: 12/8/2012 11:24 PM

Information sought on hit-and-run that killed Schaumburg teen

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  • Mikias Tibebu, 18 of Schaumburg, was killed in a hit-and-run early Saturday morning, but police are still trying to determine how it happened.

    Mikias Tibebu, 18 of Schaumburg, was killed in a hit-and-run early Saturday morning, but police are still trying to determine how it happened.
    Courtesy of ABC 7 News


Police are asking anyone with information about a hit-and-run crash early Saturday morning that killed a Schaumburg High School senior -- who is being remembered as a dedicated student, friend and athlete -- to come forward.

Schaumburg police and fire departments responded to a call at 12:38 a.m. Saturday of a body lying in the street at Schaumburg Road and Branchwood Drive, according to a news release. When police arrived, they found several bystanders who had initiated CPR, Schaumburg Police Sgt. John Nebl said.

Fire officials continued lifesaving measures, but Mikias Tibebu, 18, was pronounced dead at the scene -- about two miles from his home on the 800 block of Westfield Lane -- at 1 a.m. The Cook County medical examiner's office said Tibebu's death was the result of injuries sustained by a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian.

A message from Schaumburg High School Principal Tim Little was posted on the school's website on Saturday

"I'm writing with great sadness to report the loss of one of our students," Little said in the note. "Our thoughts and sympathies are with the student's family at this difficult time."

Little also said Tibebu, 18, was "a dedicated student with exceptional academic honors."

He was recognized as an Illinois State Scholar and National Achievement Award winner.

"A beloved friend and athlete, Mikias was also a committed member of the cross-country and track teams," Little said.

Tibebu's track coach Scott Lilley told ABC 7 Chicago that the team took a short run around the track Saturday morning to honor their teammates memory.

Members of the Schaumburg High School Crisis Response Team will be available throughout the day on Monday to provide support for students. Details about visitation and funeral arrangements will be shared through the high school website when they become available, he said.

On Saturday, friends remembered Tibebu as smart, funny and kind.

"He was a good kid. He put others before himself and he always knew how to put a smile on your face," Schaumburg senior Jackie Huey said. "He was so smart, and he had one of the brightest futures ahead of him. He was so talented and always positive."

Tibebu's hard work in school rubbed on his classmates as well.

"He noticed I wasn't trying my hardest, and he talked to me and told me I could do it. He asked me why I wasn't working harder," said Tyrone Ash, as senior at Schaumburg High School.

Ash remembered Tibebu helping him on a project during their junior year and said he was the reason Ash started working harder in school.

"He was one of the smartest kids I knew, and that was inspiring," Ash said. "I'm still expecting to wake up Monday morning, go to school and see him in the cafeteria."

Police spent most of Saturday interviewing people, but had no witnesses or leads on a suspect or vehicle involved in the crash.

"We're still trying to piece everything together, and that's why we need the public's help," Nebl said. "Anyone who was in the area of Schaumburg Road Friday night or early Saturday morning needs to contact us. They might have seen something and not even know it."

Nebl said police do know that Tibebu was out socializing with friends in the area before he was hit but haven't said where he was walking from or why he was alone.

Nebl said the Schaumburg Police Department is trying to work quickly to resolve the case.

"This is a terrible tragedy. It's devastating. This was a really good kid, an honor student, an athlete -- it's just a tragedy," he said.

Members of Tibebu's family were not available for comment on Saturday night, but a family friend told ABC 7 that they were still in shock and begging to know what happened to their son.

Anyone with information to call the Schaumburg Investigations Division (847) 882-3534.

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