Holiday festivities in Matthews and Mint Hill were tempered last month with the death of three area residents in two vehicle wrecks.
A 25-year-old Concord man died Dec. 21 in a one-vehicle crash in Mint Hill. Five days later a Stallings mother and her adult daughter were killed in a Matthews wreck.
‘Miss you kiddo’
Adam Lepisto, 25, of Concord died in a single-car crash Dec. 21 near the intersection of Lawyers and Truelight Church roads.
According to a news release from Mint Hill Police, Lepisto struck a brick mailbox at about 9 p.m. in the 8000 block of Truelight Church Road. His 2001 Chevy truck overturned before coming to rest on all four wheels. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say speed was a factor in the crash. Toxicology results from the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash weren’t available at press time.
The Mint Hill Police Department’s Traffic Team and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Major Crash Unit, are investigating the crash.
A memorial service was held for Lepisto Dec. 27 at McEwen Funeral Service in Mint Hill. He is survived by his mother, Sheila Rinehart and husband, Tim; father, Dan Lepisto and wife, Jackie; and his brother, Matthew Lepisto, all of North Carolina; grandmothers, Nancy Lepisto of Boynton Beach, Fla. and Charlotte Brady of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Online messages at the McEwen website, www.mcewenminthillchapel.com, paint Lepisto as a kind, caring young man who enjoyed spending time with family and friends.
His aunt, Kathi Francis of Loxahatchee, Fla., had a message for her nephew: “You are now our own guardian angel. Will miss you kiddo.”
‘The biggest smile’
Marie Crook, 62, and her daughter, Jennifer Hunt, 37, were killed Dec. 26 after their vehicle was hit by an impaired driver at the intersection of East Independence Boulevard and Matthews Township Parkway.
The Stallings mother and daughter were traveling with two of Hunt’s three children, who suffered minor injuries in the crash, according to a news release. Funeral services for both mother and daughter were held this week at Davis Funeral Home in Monroe.
Justin Jones, 28, of 7905 Vinings Oak Lane, Apt. 631, in Matthews is charged with two counts of felony death by vehicle, two counts of involuntary manslaughter, driving while impaired and reckless driving.
According to police, Jones struck Crook’s vehicle at about 9:30 p.m. as she was attempting to turn left onto East Independence Boulevard. Jones was traveling northbound on Matthews Township Parkway.
Crook worked in customer service and loved to be around people, according to her obituary. She was always quick to help her family and cherished her grandchildren.
Survivors include her daughter, Cori H. Favor of Monroe; her son, Jay Hunt and wife, Raquel DaSilva of Matthews; sisters Marsha Moser Flint of Kernersville, and Jeanette M. Rafferty and husband Jerry of Charlotte; brother, Donald Moser and wife Ruthie of Mt. Pleasant. Moser also is survived by her grandchildren; Blake Killough, Jabre Anthony, Ashlyn Hunt, Hailey Hunt and Aleigha Hunt, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Hunt, a member of Union County’s Next Level Church, is being remembered online as a compassionate mother who loved helping others even when she didn’t have much herself.
On the church’s Facebook page, officials posted a video of Hunt from last Christmas expressing her gratitude to fellow members who helped buy Christmas gifts for her children during a financial struggle.
But it was Hunt, the post said, who had a true passion for helping others.
“Jennifer was always willing to help in any way possible, and she could be seen with the biggest smile on her face every Sunday,” the message read. “We will miss her dearly.”
According to her obituary, she was “happiest doing anything that involved her kids and their friends. The love she gave away throughout her community and surrounding areas will be remembered for a lifetime.”
Survivors include her children, Austin Blake Killough, Ashlyn Marie Hunt and Aleigha Ivy Hunt, all of Stallings; father, Bill Hunt, Sr. and wife Tina of Tampa, Fla.; brother, Jay Hunt and wife Raquel DaSilva of Matthews; sister Cori Hunt Favor of Monroe and Yamonti Chambers of Monroe.
Want to help?
Next Level Church is collecting donations for the Hunt children. To donate, visit www.nextlevelchurch.org or send a check payable to Next Level Church with “Hunt Family Fund” in the memo line. The church’s mailing address is 4317 Stevens Mill Road, Matthews, N.C. 28104.
The Lepisto family in Mint Hill suggests in lieu of flowers that donations in Adam’s name may be made to the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 23065, Mint Hill, N.C. 28227, or the Humane Society of Charlotte, 2700 Toomey Ave., Charlotte, N.C. 28203.