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Driver charged with felony murder in Norcross crash

12:50 AM, Jan 24, 2014   |    comments
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  • Jacob Nicholson, 21, of Gainesville is charged with murder
    
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  • NORCROSS, Ga -- It was no accident. That's what Gwinnett County Police say about a terrible crash January 16, 2014 that claimed the life of a Norcross woman. It happened during the morning rush hour at the busy intersection of Singleton Road and Jimmy Carter Boulevard.

    RELATED | 6 vehicles involved in deadly rush hour wreck

    The driver of a blue Honda mini-van is going to be charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. They are rare charges in a traffic incident, according to police. "Those essentially arise because of his intent to do this," said Corporal Jake Smith of the Gwinnett County Police Department. "This was not an accident caused by a blow-out or anything like that. He intended to crash into those vehicles."

    The van, driven by Jacob Nicholson, 21, of Gainesville, sped through the intersection at about 85-95 MPH according to police. Nicholson was heading south on Singleton Road and sped through a red light, crossed into the oncoming lane and struck six other vehicles waiting at the stop light heading north.

    At the end of the crash Nicholson's van flipped over and landed on a car driven by Cynthia Thornton, 59, of Norcross, who was killed.

    Nicholson is facing one count of felony murder for Thornton's death and 10 counts of aggravated assault for the passengers in the other vehicles.

    Nicholson was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center after the crash, listed in critical condition. He is still recovering at the hospital under police guard. Police said he will be formally charged with murder and aggravated assault when he is released from the hospital.

    You can follow Kevin on Twitter @krowson11alive

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