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'Swamp People' Star

A Boat Saved My Life

in Massive 5-Car Pile-Up

5/2/2012 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

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For the millionth time, "Swamp People" star Joe LaFont's life was spared by a boat -- except this time ... it wasn't in gator-infested marshlands ... it was on an Arkansas highway.

As we previously reported, LaFont and his gator-hunting stepson Tommy Chauvin were nearly killed on Monday in a nasty 5-car pile-up near the Arkansas-Louisiana state border -- when a tractor-trailer (below) rammed the truck behind him.

According to LaFont, the truck behind him was towing a boat -- and that's the reason he's still alive.

LaFont tells us, when the tractor-trailer hit the boat, it turned the truck sideways -- and the truck T-boned Joe rather than barreling straight through him.

0430_swamp_people_APJoe tells us, "If it wasn't for the boat, I would have been killed ... It was like a bomb went off."

According to Joe, his F-150 and its attached cargo trailer were totaled in the wreck.

Joe didn't suffer any serious injuries -- but he says his neck and shoulders have been bothering him since the crash ... so he's visiting a doctor later today.

Joe says he does not plan to sue.

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