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posted: 12/9/2012 6:03 PM

Family mourns as police continue hunt for hit-and-run driver

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  • Mikias Tibebu

    Mikias Tibebu
    Courtesy of ABC 7


The father of a Schaumburg High School student killed in a weekend hit-and-run crash said Sunday his family has faith that the driver responsible will be brought to justice.

The family of 18-year-old Mikias Tibebu spent Sunday preparing to make arrangements to lay to rest the Schaumburg High School athlete and honors student, as police investigators continued their hunt for the hit-and-run driver.

"We believe in the justice system and we would like to see justice served and we trust that will happen," said Mikias' father, Tefera Tibebu Beyene. "We believe that will give closure to the family."

Beyene described his son as a model citizen and student. Mikias was a regular on the school's honor roll, recently was inducted into the Spanish Honor Society and was the recipient of two national honors for excellence.

Mikias, known as Mickey, also was a member of Schaumburg High's cross country and track teams, tutored classmates in math and volunteered at a church in Palatine, Beyene said.

"He was a caring person," his father said. "He was beloved by everyone who knew him. He was good for the community, good for the school. I never saw a teenager like him."

Investigators are pursuing leads as they attempt to find the driver that struck and killed the teenager, Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebl said Sunday.

Late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, four traffic officers were out stopping vehicles and handing drivers a flier seeking witnesses or information about the fatal crash.

"But as far as any other information on a possible vehicle or a suspect, we have not developed anything along those lines that we're able to give out," Nebl added.

Before the crash, Beyene said he spoke Friday night with his son, who was at a friend's house watching a movie. He offered Mikias a ride, but his son insisted a friend would drive him home.

"I told him to come back," his father said. "He said, 'Can you give me 45 minutes?'"

Tibebu's body was found lying along Schaumburg Road near Branchwood Drive about 12:38 a.m. Saturday, about two miles from his home. Bystanders and police attempted to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene about 1 a.m.

Schaumburg High School students will observe a moment of silence Monday following morning announcements and school counselors, psychologists and social workers will be on hand to assist students, Principal Tim Little said Sunday.

Students also will be able to write condolences and fond memories on posters that will be presented to the Mikias' family at a later date.

"I anticipate a difficult day and week to say the least," Little wrote in an email. "We will focus on the healing of our student body in the coming days."

Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, but will be posted on the school website when they are finalized.

• Staff writer Melissa Silverberg contributed to this story.

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