The Movie ‘Speed’ Just Happened for Real in France: Driver Stuck in Car Going 125mph

Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Want to feel old? The movie Speed — the one where Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock are stuck in a bus that will explode if it drops under 50 miles per hour — came out 19 years ago.

19 years! It’s old enough to drink in the country in which the story below took place.

The plot to Speed came to life on a highway in France the other day, as a disabled man found himself stuck driving a car that wouldn’t slow down below 125 miles per hour — more than double what Keanu had to deal with.

Frank Lecerf just wanted to go get some groceries near his home in the north of France when he realized that his car, a Renault Laguna that’s been adapted to accommodate his disabilities, wouldn’t slow down. Something had gone wrong with the mechanism controlling the car’s speed. When Lecerf tried hitting the brake, it actually caused the car to accelerate even more.

Lecerf realized he was in big trouble and called the cops to let them know that he was careening down the highway at high speeds and could use a little bit of help. The cops responded quickly, setting up a convoy to escort him down the road. They realized that all they could do was wait for him to run out of gas and hope that he didn’t lose control before then.

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It must have looked pretty crazy to drivers on the highway as the convoy came up behind them — like a high-speed chase with a cop leading the charge, lights blazing, followed by a scared dude in a regular car and then more cops.

The whole ordeal ended when Lecerf finally did run out of gas — but not before he’d crossed over the border into Belgium. He ended up in a ditch, but thankfully, no one was seriously hurt (Lecerf suffered two epileptic seizures).

Lecerf is now looking into the possibility of legal action against those responsible for the malfunction.

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2 Responses to The Movie ‘Speed’ Just Happened for Real in France: Driver Stuck in Car Going 125mph

  1. why cant they just put the car in neutral and let it rev to a stop? This even confused me with the Toyota cars, when they had the problem.

  2. I thought the same thing, Jofokell. I can understand why the driver maybe didn’t think of this, as he was freaking out. But the cops on the phone didn’t tell him to try it? Or even downshift and pull out the key?

    Too many people driving automatics don’t know how to manually downshift I guess.