Runaway Laguna takes terrified driver across two countries
A stuck throttle has to be every driver's nightmare and in this instance, it has led to a Frenchman enduring a 120-mile drive at 125mph.
Frank Lecerf's ordeal began last Saturday, when he drove his Renault Laguna a short distance to visit the local supermarket. All was well until he set the speed regulator at 100kph (60mph). Then the car accelerated to 160kph (100mph), but after he tried to brake, the Renault's speed increased to its maximum of 200kph (125mph).
Thankfully, Mr Lecerf, 36, managed to contact the emergency services on his mobile phone, as he sped through northern France. The police, firefighters and a Renault engineer were then able to speak to him directly.
He was given a police escort to clear other vehicles out of the way and barriers at tolls stations were all lifted. Despite unsuccessfully trying to turn the Renault off, he carried on past the Belgian border and ended up crashing into a ditch in the town of La Panne, which ironically in English, means 'breakdown'.
However, there have been some doubts over Mr Lecerf's version of events. The car which is being checked by Renault engineers, had been modified for disabled drivers with the throttle and brake controls fitted to the steering wheel. The company have suggested that this hour-long chase could be the result of panic from a misunderstanding of the controls.
According to a report in the Independent, Mr Lecerf said: "It is a miracle that I survived. There is no other word. Whatever happens, I am never getting back in that car."