A 23-year-old man was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver overnight in Mint Hill, and police are investigating the possibility that a van reported stolen a short time earlier might have been involved.
The stolen van later was found burning off Albemarle Road.
Mint Hill police have identified the victim as Jeffrey Hardin, of Mint Hill.
Police say Hardin was walking eastbound in the 6300 block of Lebanon Road about 2:45 a.m., against the flow of traffic. That is between Margaret Wallace Road and Matthews-Mint Hill Road, near the entrance to Pine Lake Country Club.
According to police, Hardin was struck and killed by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed. Police did not say which direction the vehicle was headed.
Mint Hill police Lt. John Rowell says officers found Hardin lying in the middle of the road. He was pronounced dead a short time later.
A short time later, passing motorists reported a van burning off Albemarle Road near Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road. That is about 3 1/2 miles from the scene of the fatality in Mint Hill. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the burning van might have been the same vehicle reported stolen early Thursday morning from the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store on Albemarle Road at Harrisburg Road.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they are investigating whether the Mint Hill and Albemarle Road incidents were related, although Mint Hill police have declined to make that connection, saying they don’t want to release information that could jeopardize the investigation.
Mint Hill police are asking that anyone with information about the fatality on Lebanon Road should call officers at 704-545-1085.