However, the dream life turned into a tragic nightmare on May 15, 1970. While driving with two friends near his hometown of Malartic, making preparations for his wedding that summer, the Briere vehicle was involved in a horrific car crash, which threw him clear of the orange 1970 Mercury Cougar along Route 117 in Val-d’Or, 70 miles from his hometown of Malartic. The other two occupants survived the crash, but suffered multiple fractures. When emergency crews arrived on the scene, they found Briere unconscious, some distance from the car. “He was in the back seat,” Penguins coach Red Kelly recalled. “There wasn’t even a mark on him. But he was thrown out, and there was damage to his brain.” But there would be yet another tragedy associated with the crash on that fateful rainy evening. On the way to transporting the severely injured Briere to hospital in Val D’Or, the ambulance transporting him struck and killed an 18-year-old pedestrian, a young man by the name of Raymond Perreault of Malartic. Suffering from major head trauma, Briere was flown 300 miles to Notre Dame Hospital in Montreal, where a leading neurosurgeon performed the first of four brain surgeries. Brière was given a prognosis that gave him a 50–50 chance of living.