Driver Stuck in Car Going 125mph—for an Hour

Frenchman's high-speed ride ends 125 miles later, in Belgium

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 14, 2013 8:28 AM CST

(Newser) – An amazing tale of survival out of France—and Belgium. Frank Lecerf's attempt to drive to the supermarket took a crazy turn on Saturday after his car's brakes failed while he was traveling 60mph. His attempts to use them only caused the car to accelerate, until it eventually hit 125mph, and stuck there, for an hour. Lecerf managed to call police to alert them to his plight; they decided to escort his Renault Laguna (which the Week notes was customized in light of Lecerf's epilepsy, with the gas and brake controls moved to the steering wheel) until it ran out of gas, which it did 125 miles later, allowing him to swerve into a ditch and come to a halt, in Belgium.

And he managed to do it all in spite of two epileptic seizures he suffered during the hour-long ride, the Guardian reports. Police were on the line with a Renault tech throughout the chase, but were unable to come up with a fix; they also gave warning to three toll stations, which allowed Lecerf to tear through. Lecerf says he had taken his car to Renault before over concerns about a jammed speed dial, but was told the car was fine; he plans to file a legal complaint. But the Independent notes that some aren't so sure Lecerf's story is totally accurate, with Renault insiders noting the Frenchman may have just panicked after working the controls incorrectly. Adding to the too-crazy-to-be-real feel: He crashed near the Belgian town of La Panne—French for "breakdown."

A Renault Laguna (Monaco GP Coupe); he drove a Renault Laguna 3.
A Renault Laguna (Monaco GP Coupe); he drove a Renault Laguna 3.   (?)
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