By CRAIG McTEAR
WHAT was a young man doing lying in the middle of the road just before a car hit him on Hogbin Drive early yesterday?
That vexing question is now preoccupying Coffs Harbour detectives investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.
A formal identification is not expected until later today after a post mortem examination at Glebe in Sydney to determine the cause of death.
However, police believe the man is in his late teens and is from the local area.
Detectives have confirmed only one vehicle was involved in the incident following initial reports another vehicle may have earlier hit the man.
What police do know is that at 2.30am, a southbound Commodore wagon, driven by a Toormina man, 30, hit the man who was lying on the road just north of the airport turnoff.
Police said the driver, who had two passengers, stopped his car after realising he had hit an object. He discovered the man's body with massive injuries.
The driver rang 000 and police and ambulance officers arrived shortly after.
Police established a crime scene and blocked off Hogbin Drive between Howard Street and Stadium Drive for most of the morning.
Police breath-tested the driver at the scene and allege he returned a positive reading.
He allegedly returned a low-range blood alcohol reading of .065 in a subsequent breath analysis at Coffs Harbour Police Station. He will appear in court on June 6.
Detectives are trying to piece together the dead man's last movements and are urging people with information to come forward.
"We are appealing for anyone who may have been in the area of Hogbin Drive between 2am and 2.30am and who witnessed the collision, or noticed the man lying on the road, to contact police," acting Detective Sergeant Mick Dowden said.
"All information will be treated with the strictest of confidence."
A brief will be prepared for the coroner.