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Cops: Sister confesses to fatal hit and run month after older sister was charged

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A woman was charged last month in a hit-and-run that killed an 85-year-old man in Gwinnett County. But now her sister is claiming responsibility for the crime, police said Thursday.

Investigators have dropped the charges against 50-year-old Ruth Escobar and have now charged her sister Esther Escobar, 46, with first-degree vehicular homicide, felony hit and run, driving without a valid driver’s license and failure to stop at a stop sign, according to Gwinnett County police.

The charges were dropped against the older sister after her sibling took the witness stand during the hearing and claimed she was the one driving, police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

Investigators later determined that Esther Escobar was the one driving at the time of the wreck on April 13, Smith said. Still, her sister remained in jail Friday on an immigration violation hold, he said.

The hit and run claimed the life of Kanaiyalal P. Patel who was struck around 6 p.m. that Sunday at the intersection of Singleton Road and Kings Ridge Drive near Norcross, police have said.

At the time of the incident, police said the victim was attempting to cross the road when he was struck by a maroon 1999 Ford F-150 pickup.

One witness told police that the vehicle did not stop at the stop sign on Kings Ridge Drive and struck the pedestrian as he crossed the roadway, police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter previously said. The driver did not stop to render aid, but a witness followed the vehicle to Oakbrook Pointe Apartments in Norcross, Ritter said.

Officers located the driver with the assistance of the witnesses and took her into custody, Ritter said. Patel, of Norcross, was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center where died a short time later as a result of the injuries, Ritter said.

The investigation is ongoing into the efforts that were taken to cover up this crime, Smith said. It’s unclear why Ruth Escobar initially took responsibility for the crime and why her sister waited more than a month later to confess.