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'Swamp People'

Involved in EXPLOSIVE

5-Car Pile-Up

5/1/2012 12:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

0430_swamp_people_AP"Swamp People" gator hunters Tommy Chauvin and his stepfather Joe LaFont are lucky to be alive -- after the pair was involved in a NASTY 5-car pile-up yesterday near the Arkansas-Louisiana state line.

Tommy and Joe were not hurt -- but according to reports, three other people involved in the accident suffered serious injuries. There were no fatalities.

0430_swamp_people_sub_APAccording to reports, four vehicles -- including Chauvin and LaFont's -- had come to a stop for a flagman directing traffic around a construction site on the highway.

Everything was hunky dory -- until a fifth vehicle (a giant tractor-trailer) came careening along and smashed into the back of another truck waiting in line.

The accident caused a massive pile-up -- but the biggest casualty ... a bunch of "Swamp People" merch that spilled out of Tommy and Joe's truck ... and scattered across the highway.

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