MINT HILL, N.C. -- More than a hundred people crowded the grassy shoulder on Lebanon Road in Mint Hill Saturday night to pay tribute to a friend killed in a hit-and-run accident Thursday, and press for improvements in the area.

Jeffrey Hardin died while walking home along the 6300 block of that road early Thursday morning. Mint Hill Police still haven t found the driver responsible.

I'm very angry, I'm so angry, said Hardin s sister Jessica Roubaud. It's been a few days and none of us has been able to swallow it -- it's not real.

Saturday, Hardin s friends released balloons with personal messages in the Bi-Lo parking lot on Lawyers Road before starting the walk that traced Hardin s last steps.

Roubaud said the group wanted to get together to press for better lighting and sidewalks along Lebanon Road, which she said is a common place for people to walk.

Something as simple as that could have changed it, said Roubaud, crying.

Hardin s friend Shannon King also travels that route, and said it can be dangerous.

There's people who go that way, ride bikes or whatever -- and they have to take a risk of riding on the road, he said.

The crowd of Hardin s friends was so large that Mint Hill Police stopped traffic in each direction on Lebanon Road to keep the group safe. They stopped at a small memorial in front of a fence where Hardin died to say prayers and light candles.

Roubaud cried and lit candles too. She also begged for the driver who killed her brother to turn himself or herself in.

Come forward, give our family closure, help us at all, she cried. Even at some point we could forgive him or her. We can't forgive him to not fix his mistake.

Police are looking for a light-body, red, lifted truck with oversized tires that they believe was in the area around the time Hardin was killed. They no longer believe a stolen van found near the accident was involved in Hardin s death.

Anyone with information can call Mint Hill Police at 704-545-1085.

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