The difference between life and death can be as big as an elephant sitting on your face or as a small your wrist caught in a car frame. Though we haven’t heard stories about murder-by-elephant recently, the story of a Chinese man’s lucky – yet horrendous – escape from a burning car stood the hair on the back of our necks on end…and made us want to keep an emergency meat clever in our car. Just in case.

Find out what James Franco and this poor Chinese man have in common below…

While out for a drive at night on an unfamiliar road trying to calm down after a family fight, a man known only as Yang apparently was having trouble seeing clearly and literally ran into a mountain.

▼”It just jumped up out of nowhere, officer. I swear!”

Of course, this is an easy mistake that anyone could make–so pay attention to what happened next in case you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

As you might expect of a car running into a mountainside, Yang’s vehicle almost immediately caught fire. The blaze was intense enough that the poor man thought it might explode at any moment and decided that he needed to escape as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there was one tiny little problem: His left hand was stuck.

With the flames licking at the car and, Yang assumed, working their way to a Michael-Bay-style fireball, the Chinese man was desperate to get out of his demolished vehicle. And that’s when he spotted a fruit knife.

▼Not an actual medical tool.

fruit knife

When police finally arrived on the scene, they found the car still burning and Yang lying on the road about ten meters away, blood gushing out of his left arm where a hand used to be. That’s right, the Chinese man used the fruit knife to saw through his wrist and escape from the burning car. If you’re thinking that sounds an awful lot like a movie starring James Franco before he got caught flirting with high school students, well, we think you’re on to something!

Acting quickly, police applied some simple first aid and rushed Yang to the hospital, though it seems that he had already gone into shock due to blood loss. We’d probably do the same in that situation, we have to admit.

Aside from needing a new car, Yang is apparently doing well. Doctors were even able to reattach his hand, though it’s still unclear how much use he’ll recover. Yang’s wife explained his condition to the media and thanked the police for saving her husband’s life, though she didn’t mention whose fault the fight was. We’ll just go ahead and assume they were merely arguing about who loved the other the most.

And hopefully the next time there’s a domestic dispute Yang will just go eat some elaborate dessert–the worst thing that can happen here is a bit of brain freeze!

Sources: Xinhua Japanese, Jianhua
Images: Wikipedia (Pratyeka), Amazon, YouTube (The SlowMo Guys)