Chinese man survives after car's cruise control jams at 126km/h along highway for 2 hours

In an audio clip a desperate Xie can be heard pleading for help: ‘Hello, I’m running at a speed of 126km/h on cruise control, but the brake isn’t working’.
PHOTO: South China Morning Post

A Chinese man has miraculously walked away unscathed after the cruise control on his car jammed at 126km/h sending him careering along a highway for two hours before eventually coming to a halt, mainland media reported.

The driver, surnamed Xie, managed to avoid colliding with fellow road users thanks to the combined efforts of police who cleared the way ahead of him and an automotive engineer relaying instructions by mobile phone as he sped, out of control along the road, the Star Video reported.

As Xie’s car – the model of which was not revealed – hurtled along the highway in China’s Zhejiang province, he desperately tried to slow down by pumping the brakes, shifting into neutral gear and turning the engine off completely, to no avail.

In an audio clip accompanying the report, a desperate Xie can be heard pleading for help in a call to police: “Hello, I’m running at a speed of 126km/h on cruise control, but the brake isn’t working. I can’t turn it off. I think I am going to die,” he says.

It remains unclear what caused the vehicle’s cruise control to jam but after his ordeal was over, Xie speculated that it might have been some milk tea he had spilled.
PHOTO: Weibo

The policeman on the other end attempts to reassure the panicking driver saying: “Keep your safety belt fastened. Safe, you’re safe. Don’t worry, don’t worry.”

After tracking Xie’s car down, police cleared the traffic ahead of him and made sure he could pass through toll gates unhindered.

Eventually, police escorted him to a steep slope, and, with the help of an automotive engineer on a mobile phone giving instructions, managed to bring the car to a halt.

It remains unclear what caused the vehicle’s cruise control to jam but after his ordeal was over, Xie speculated that it might have been some milk tea he had spilled shortly before the car careered out of control.

The incident sparked a heated discussion on social media after clips of the speeding car were made public.

“This is a real-life version of Keanu Reeves’ movie Speed,” one Weibo user said.

Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in the 90s movie Speed.
PHOTO: 20th Century Fox

“Two hours of horror! I salute the police officers!” Said another.

In a similar case four years ago, a man from central China was forced to speed down a highway for more than an hour after the cruise control on his Mercedes-Benz C200L jammed at 120km/h.

The speed limit on expressways in mainland China is 120km/h.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post.