Feb 5 2019 • by James Lambka
A lucky teenage driver dodged death this week after being involved in an explosive head-on collision with a semi-truck. The collision was captured on the dashcam of a minivan several yards behind the teenager’s Jeep Wrangler.
The teen involved in this crash is eighteen-year-old Samuel LaChance from New Hampshire. LaChance was driving his Jeep Wrangler on an undivided stretch of Route 101 that has a speed limit of 55 mph, to Keene State College on January 22. The dash cam footage shows the teen’s SUV drifting into the oncoming lane traffic and colliding with a semi-truck.
The impact of the collision was severe enough to burst open the semi’s fuel tank, which caught fire and resulted in an explosion that engulfed the entire scene of the accident for a few terrifying moments. The dash cam car then crashes into the battered and out-of-control Jeep as it comes to a halt.
The driver of the dash cam car, Marc Cramer, was with his own teenage son in the passenger seat. Dash cam footage shows the frightening scene unfold in mere seconds. What looked like a collision could not be expected to result in such a dramatic scene. The crumpled Jeep is seen spiraling across the road towards the dash cam car when it hits it. The Cramers say that they had no time to brake. The 25-second clip is horrifying.
Cramer, who was driving behind the Jeep, rushed to help its driver (Sam LaChance) who was pulled out in an unconscious state. Cramer and his son, as well as another motorist, were able to keep LaChance stable until paramedics arrived. The driver of the semi-truck, 66-year-old Jean Morency, reportedly suffered “bumps and bruises”.
LaChance, who majors graphic design at Keene State, was taken to the Massachusetts General Hospital where he was diagnosed with a fractured foot, ruptured spleen and second- and third-degree burns.
Jessica LaChance, the crash victim’s mother, described his survival as “absolutely a miracle”. “Total disbelief. I didn’t realize how horrible it actually was. A mom’s worst nightmare,” she told WHDH.
The mother’s view of the crash is accurate. A fiery head-on crash with a semi-truck would leave little chance of survival and LaChance is indeed lucky to be alive. He is reportedly on his road to recovery but will remain hospitalized for the coming months. According to his mother, LaChance has no recollection of the crash, but he remembers the names of his family and is able to talk.
Daniel LaChance, Samuel’s father, has expressed his gratitude to the Cramers for rushing to his son’s aid despite the severe circumstances of the whole incident.
“I don’t think words can describe how grateful I am for their quick actions to put their own lives at risk,” he told CBS Boston. It is still unclear why LaChance’s Jeep drifted into the path of the semi-truck.