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Police: Driver may have been unconscious
WEBmarketplace wreck 1 jd
This Hummer caught fire Monday afternoon following a three-vehicle wreck on Market Place Boulevard in Cumming. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)

Authorities are investigating a fiery, three-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon that injured one person and disrupted traffic on Market Place Boulevard.

John J. Hogg, 48, of Admirals Point has been charged by Cumming police with following too close. He was taken to nearby Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

Cumming Police Officer John Coffman said Hogg was alert at the hospital Monday afternoon.

The incident occurred about 1:45 p.m. in front of Wal-Mart. Witnesses said Hogg's 2004 H2 Hummer caught fire after it hit a 2000 Ford Windstar minivan from behind and then sideswiped a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.

"We think he was unconscious when he hit the first vehicle," Coffman said. "We are still investigating the cause of the accident, but at this point we believe that he was unconscious when he struck the first vehicle."

The Forsyth County Fire Department also responded to the incident.

Coffman said the minivan was driven by Cora Flournoy, 68, of Winchester Court and the Jeep's driver was Vily P. Dardanes, 46, of Bryce Valley Court.

He said the other drivers did not report any injuries as a result of the wreck.

The Hummer's path extended from the store's north entrance to the south entrance.

Stephanie Jones said she was behind the Hummer in the turning lane on Market Place when the wreck occurred.

She said the Hummer was "at a dead stop" behind the minivan and "all of a sudden he gunned it."

"He hit the back of the van and came over (into the northbound lane) and hit the Jeep," Jones said.

Tiffany Clark also saw the collision.

"I was sitting at the stop sign coming out of Wal-Mart and I saw the Hummer rear end the van," she said.

Clark said she at first thought the driver of the Hummer was trying to pull over, but it didn't stop.

"After hitting the van, I heard the Hummer accelerate and it hit the Jeep, which tried to swerve out of the way," Clark said.

The Hummer continued heading south along the northbound lane until it stopped on the curb, just short of the south entrance to Wal-Mart.

Jones said she called 911 and while she was on the phone, she saw flames coming from the Hummer.

She said some people stopped and used crowbars to try to free the driver from the vehicle.

The driver was out of the Hummer by the time emergency responders arrived.

The wreck slowed traffic on the retail corridor for more than an hour.