Lifestyle & Human Interest

Dad and Son Save Teenager from Fiery Crash After Jeep Collides with Tractor-Trailer


Marc Cramer and his teenage son, John, were driving along a two-lane road in Dublin, New Hampshire, on Jan. 22 when the Jeep in front of them drifted into oncoming traffic. A semi-truck was coming from the opposite direction and had no time or space to avoid the wayward vehicle.

Cramer tried to stop, but the road before him erupted into flames as the trashed jeep was thrown against the front of his car and the 18-wheeler plunged forward.

“There was no way to turn left or right, you had to go straight,” he later told the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. “I was going into a wall of fire. I screamed, ‘Lord, help me.'”

The dashcam footage that Cramer got is harrowing. It shows how much of an impact a slight deviation can make, and it’s amazing that the young man in the Jeep survived the initial impact.

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“If it weren’t for our vehicle hitting the right front wheel, he would have burned. It was by the grace of God, really,” Cramer said. “If you look at the wreckage, and you look at the video of the Jeep as it was being hit, you just don’t see how someone can survive that.

“What seemed forever was really only a couple of minutes.”

Marc and John Cramer rushed to free the driver from the fiery remains of his car. A third man, Bank Promploy, also witnessed the wreck and ran to help.

Sam Lachance, the student driving the Jeep, had been heading back to school after winter break. The 18-year-old sustained major internal injuries, including brain bleeds, spleen damage, a fractured foot and a tear in his carotid artery.

Lachance was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was placed in the ICU. He stabilized enough to be moved to the Trauma Recovery Unit over the weekend, but he still has a long way to go.

“Right now, he’s being treated for his burns and is continuing to start his recovery phase,” his mother, Jessica Lachance, said. “Anything right now is a miracle, because he’s alive.

“He is having moments where he recognizes us and is able to speak to us. He doesn’t remember what happened, but he remembers names and people and can talk clearly.”
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The young man miraculously survived the ordeal and he’s been making great strides in recovery.

“The rate at which he has hit the progress markers in terms of his brain injury, they’re amazed,” Jessica Lachance said. “Youth is on his side, and you can tell he’s fighting.”

Lachance has kept followers updated on his progress through Facebook posts, and the going has been rough.

“After an amazing day where Sam passed tests left and right, he out of nowhere became terrified and screamed out at the top of his lungs ‘why…why…’ ‘I’m scared’ and ‘it hurts,'” she wrote.

“He didn’t recognize me. I held his head in my arms as he shook to the point of vomiting. The look in his eyes was of pure terror and shook me to my core.

“I know that this is to be expected. I know he will have moments like this. I know that he is a miracle and has survived a horror that I can never fully understand. I continue to draw strength and hope that this too shall pass. I am his momma, I will ride this rollercoaster with him through the terror and love and protect him with all that I have.”

There has been no word yet on the cause of the accident, but in the meantime, friends have started raising money for the Lachance family through a GoFundMe page.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking