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Schaumburg family offers $10,000 for information on deadly hit-and-run

Standing front picture his sDr. TeferT. Beyene father deceased Schaumburg High School student Mikias Tibebu answers questions as Schaumburg Police

Standing in front of a picture of his son, Dr. Tefera T. Beyene, father of deceased Schaumburg High School student Mikias Tibebu, answers questions as Schaumburg Police conduct a press conference to discuss the investigation into a hit-and-run crash that killed his son. December 12, 2012. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 15, 2013 11:37AM

Days after 18-year-old Mikias Tibebu was killed by a hit-and-run driver, his family pleaded for help and offered a $10,000 reward for information about the mysterious collision.

The teen was a “great person”—a top student at Schaumburg High School who was eagerly looking forward to attending the California college that had just accepted him, his father said Thursday.

“Our heart is broken, the family is devastated,” said his dad, Tefera Beyene. “What a great person he was.”

Tibebu, an honors student and cross-country runner, was killed early Saturday morning as he crossed Schaumburg Road at Branchwood Lane in the northwest suburb.

Based on the teen’s injuries, police disclosed Thursday that Tibebu already was lying on the ground when he was hit by the vehicle that killed him.

“We believe he was not standing, we believe he was lying [on the road] when he was struck,” said Sgt. John Nebl.

But investigators haven’t determined whether he fell, tripped or had some type of medical problem that left him lying prone in the busy, four-lane road around 12:35 a.m.

Police flatly dismissed social media speculation that he had been “car surfing” — or riding on top of a moving vehicle.

Toxicology tests are still pending, though Nebl said there are no indications that the teen had used alcohol or drugs before he was struck, nor any signs of foul play.

He had been hanging out with a group of friends at a home barely a block away from where he was killed. Tibebu had been there until less than 10 minutes before he was hit and killed, Nebl said, but investigators are still trying to determine where he had been going.

His father had called Tibebu around 11:30 p.m. and offered to give him a ride home. The teen, the oldest of the family’s four children, had asked to stay out a short while longer, then told his father he would get a ride home.

Beyene had a simple message for anyone who has information about the mysterious collision that killed his son.

“Come forward, come forward,” he said quietly. “We need to identify the person.”

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