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Woman survives car fire after brakes fail going 60 mph on New Hampshire highway

Driver escapes burning car after brakes fail in New Hampshire
Driver escapes burning car after brakes fail in New Hampshire 01:33

STRATHAM, N.H. - A woman managed to survive a car fire while going 60 mph after her brakes failed on Route 101 in New Hampshire.

The aftermath of the car fire that started as Maggie Marchand was driving on Route 101.

Car catches fire going 60 mph

Maggie Marchand was traveling west on the highway on Tuesday around 7:45 a.m. when her car made a loud bang, and the brakes stopped working. 

"All the lights go on: check engine, check oil, oil leaking, all that. I go to press my brake, all the way down to the floor. It just would not work. And I was like, oh my gosh," said Marchand.

She was traveling at 60 mph at the time and was able to avoid other cars while waiting for the vehicle to lose speed. Then, the vehicle's right and left sides began smoking before catching fire.

Maggie's car engulfed in flames around exit 11. Rockingham Alert

Marchand was able to stay in control of the vehicle for five miles and stopped the car in a grassy area by an exit ramp. She jumped out of the car before it was engulfed in flames.

"At this point, five seconds after I got out of the car, the whole front of the hood is fully engulfed in flames," said Marchand. "The car is definitely on fire, totally totaled. But in that moment, I'm just staring at that car, like burning in flames, like, I could've been in that car, I still could have been in that car."

"Impressed with her driving ability under pressure"

"I cannot be more impressed with her driving ability under pressure and her poise in a life-threatening situation that could easily have injured or killed Maggie - and others around her," her father, Steve Marchland, said on Facebook.

Marchand was taken to the hospital for a minor burn and smoke inhalation, according to her father.

"I'm alive and I got out of the car and no one else got hurt and to me, at the end of the day, that's all that matters," said Marchand.

There is no information about what caused her car to stop working. She said she's grateful to two women who pulled over and stayed with her until first responders arrived.

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