Two people died early Monday morning following a single-car wreck that police believe was caused by excessive speed.

The incident happened near 5061 Mink Livsey Road outside of Snellville when police learned from the 911 center just before 2 a.m. that a dark-colored 2005 Nissan Altima going traveling north spun around and struck a large tree.

The car had just entered Gwinnett County when it left the road on the right shoulder. Gwinnett County police spokeswoman Cpl. Michele Pihera said the car split into two pieces next to the driveway of 5064 Mink Livsey Road.

“The front half of the car continued traveling while the rear portion of the vehicle became wedged between several large trees,” Pihera said.

The people in the car, Tahir Thomas, 42, of Decatur, the driver, was ejected, and the passenger, Gerald McDonald, 52, of Snellville, both died.

Pihera said that people often take unnecessary risks when they are running late for work, school and appointments.

“No destination or prior obligation is worth a person’s life,” she said. “Call your employer, school, doctor, parent, spouse, or whoever is expecting you. Tell them that you are running behind. They’d rather receive a phone call from you about being tardy rather than a phone call from a police officer giving notification.”

Gwinnett Daily Post news reporter.

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