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Police Identify Victims in Fiery Crash

The vehicle occupants were believed to be traveling to Lake Lanier after leaving an Alcoholics Anonymous class when the crash occurred.

Police have tentatively identified the victims in as James Gifford, 30, of Ellijay, and Thomas Hawkins, 21, of Snellville. Investigators are waiting on dental records for confirmation.

According to Gwinnett County Police, Gifford was driving a dark gray BMW 740i northbound on Sycamore Road when he lost control, crossed the double yellow line and struck a tree. The vehicle caught fire and both the Gifford and Hawkins were dead by the time the fire was extinguished.

The one-car accident occurred on Sycamore Road a half mile north of Nelson Brogdon Boulevard (State Route 20) shortly after midnight. 

The GCPD Accident Investigation Unit had difficulty identifying the victims due to the severity of the injuries sustained in the crash and the resulting fire. Investigators have requested that anyone with information about the accident contact the Gwinnett County Police Accident Investigation Unit at 678-442-5626.

Police believe the victims had been at an Alcoholics Anonymous class earlier in the evening and were traveling to Lake Lanier when the accident occurred.

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