MINT HILL, NC – On Tuesday, August 16, friends and family of Jeffrey Hardin met at the corner of Lawyers and Lebanon roads to walk in his memory.
Early in the morning of Thursday, August 16, 2012, 23-year old Jeffrey Hardin was struck by a hit and run driver while walking home down Lebanon Road. Hardin was walking east, or against the flow of traffic, near the entrance to Pine Lake Country Club when he was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.
According to Hardin’s sister Jessica Roubaud, a young woman driving home after her shift at the hospital came upon Jeffrey, whom she at first described as “something” in the road. “Once she got out of her vehicle to take a closer look, she realized it was a man,” says Jessica. The woman called 911, and paramedics pronounced Jeffrey dead on the scene shortly after arriving.
Police investigated the possibility that a stolen van found hours later off Albemarle Road and Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road was involved in the fatality; however, by Friday they had determined that the vehicle was not related to Hardin’s death. They began looking for a red truck termed a “vehicle of interest” that was seen near the site of the crash.
A full decade later later, Hardin’s case remains unsolved. Hardin’s death was part of what The Charlotte Observer termed a “deadly year for pedestrians” in which 17 pedestrians had already been struck and killed in Charlotte.
Hardin was a devoted friend, son, brother and uncle. On the ten-year anniversary of Hardin’s death, family and friends met in the Urban Air parking lot (formerly BI-LO) to walk in his honor to the spot he was last. Ironically, Jessica had some trouble obtaining a parade permit for the event: officers tried to convince her it wasn’t a safe area to walk because of the lack of sidewalks and increase in traffic.
For Jessica, that’s exactly why she’s walking. “What my family and I hope to accomplish is to raise awareness of the lack of sidewalks still in Mint Hill as well as praying that perhaps someone is willing to come forward with information that could lead to an arrest and conviction,” she explains. “Justice for Jeffrey has not happened and for my family’s sake, his daughter’s sake, we just want the person responsible to take accountability.”
“At the end of the day, walking in his last foot steps towards the home we once shared, makes me feel a little closer to him,” adds Jessica. Hardin’s family continues to offer a cash reward for information leading to an arrest or conviction. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Mint Hill Police Department.