Tags: dick | van | dyke | car | fire

Dick Van Dyke Escapes Unhurt From Car Fire on LA Freeway

Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 09:07 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Veteran actor Dick Van Dyke survived a car fire unscathed Monday, when a passerby pulled him from the smoldering vehicle before it burst into flames on the side of a Los Angeles-area freeway.

A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol confirmed that the 87-year-old performer was the driver seen slumped over the steering wheel of a Jaguar that was reported to be on fire on the shoulder of the Ventura Freeway.

Van Dyke said a group of motorists who stopped to render assistance, one of them apparently an off-duty firefighter, saw him huddled in the driver's seat while he was trying to place a call for help and pulled him out of the car to safety.

"They thought I had passed out so they yanked me out of the car," Van Dyke recounted in an interview with the celebrity news website TMZ.com, saying he had not initially realized that his car was burning.

"It just started making a noise, and I thought I had a flat at first, then it started to smoke, then it burned to a crisp," he said smiling. He added that he was unhurt and got out of the vehicle "long before" it went up in flames.

Editor's Note: Should ObamaCare Be Repealed? Vote in Urgent National Poll

Still, he counted himself lucky to be alive.

"Not only that, there was a fireman, a nurse and a cop just happened to be passing by. Somebody's looking after me."

The actor's publicist, Bob Palmer, said the car, a "brand new" Jaguar, inexplicably caught fire after Van Dyke heard an unusual noise while driving and pulled over to the shoulder of the freeway.

He quoted Van Dyke, who had been on his way to a dental appointment, saying afterward, "The only thing I'm embarrassed about is that I could never figure out that damned car."

'HE'S FINE, THANK GOD'

Firefighters were "quickly able to extinguish the flames and evaluate the driver's medical condition. He did not require transport to a medical facility," Los Angeles city fire department spokesman Erik Scott said.

Palmer said the actor was back at his home and was fine.

A six-second video clip posted on Twitter by Van Dyke's wife, Arlene, showed the performer's charred vehicle on the freeway and a brief glimpse of the actor talking to officials at the scene. Van Dyke appeared unharmed in the video clip.

A caption accompanying the clip said: "Van Dyke's melted car ... He's fine thank God!!"

The tall, lanky actor, whose air of affability and gift for physical comedy helped make "The Dick Van Dyke Show" one of the most beloved sitcoms in U.S. television history, received a lifetime achievement award from the Screen Actors Guild in January.

The sitcom, co-starring Mary Tyler Moore as his wife, ran on CBS from the fall of 1961 to the fall of 1966 and continued on in syndicated reruns for decades. His role as the comedy writer and family man Rob Petrie, earned him three Emmy awards.

Van Dyke also starred in the family musical movies "Mary Poppins" and "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," and the original Broadway cast of the Tony-winning musical "Bye Bye Birdie." He reprised his stage role for a 1963 film version of that show.

He scored another prime-time hit with the crime drama "Diagnosis Murder" in the 1990s and early 2000s.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

School Cancels 'Nutcracker' Trip, Quickly Reverses

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 23:14 PM

A Massachusetts school has reversed its plan to cancel its annual trip to see The Nutcracker over parental concerns th . . .

Texas Army Base on Lockdown After Suspicious Vehicle Found

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 21:58 PM

A lockdown was ordered at a U.S. Army base in San Antonio, Texas, on Sunday evening in what a military spokesman describ . . .

Man Who Ambushed Cops Had Anti-Government Beliefs

Sunday, 23 Nov 2014 18:36 PM

A Florida man who set his house on fire and ambushed responding police officers held anti-government, anti-establishmen . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved