(TMZ) 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 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.
Joe 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. more on this story