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Witnesses help capture driver after man, 85, struck and killed in hit and run

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An 85-year-old man was struck and killed late Sunday afternoon in a hit and run in Gwinnett County, and police said a witness trailed the suspected driver and helped them capture her at a nearby apartment complex.

The incident happened shortly after 6 p.m. at the intersection of Singleton Road and Kings Ridge Drive near Norcross, according to Gwinnett County police. 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.

Investigators said the pickup exited Kings Ridge Drive with the intention of turning south onto Singleton Road. At the time, the victim, who was walking northbound on the sidewalk, attempted to cross Kings Ridge Drive and was struck by the vehicle, police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said.

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, Ritter said. The witness also told police that the driver of the vehicle did not stop to render aid, Ritter said.

At some point someone called 911 and the witness followed the driver of the vehicle to Oakbrook Pointe Apartments in Norcross, Ritter said. It's unclear how long the witness followed the driver to her destination.

Officers located the driver with the assistance of the witnesses and took her into custody, Ritter said. The pedestrian, who was later identified as Kanaiyalal P. Patel, of Norcross, was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center with life threatening injuries. He died a short time later as a result of the injuries, Ritter said.

The driver, Ruth A. Escobar, 50, of Norcross, was charged with vehicular homicide, hit and run, failure to obey stop sign and driving without a valid driver’s license, Ritter said. She was transported to Gwinnett County Jail where records show she is also being held for immigration.

She was denied bond for the charges of vehicular homicide and hit and run, the booking records show. And was given $1300 bond for failure to obey stop sign and driving without a valid driver’s license, according to the jail records.

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