Comic acting legend Dick Van Dyke was in Calabasas, California on the 101 freeway when his car started smoking. Van Dyke pulled off onto the hard shoulder and was, presumably using his cell to call for a breakdown recovery service. Apparently, he was not aware of the severity of his situation. Luckily for Mr Van Dyke, a young man named Jason Pennington saw the smoking car and a man “slumped” inside of it. Thinking quickly he stopped to drag the performer from his car. The legend wasn’t hurt and later, he added his typical comic touch to the situation.
The dramatic rescue of the 87 year-old show business legend was caught on video and has been posted on YouTube, we have included the video footage at the bottom of this article.
Apparently, Mr Van Dyke was on his way to the dentist when his Jaguar caught on fire, While Pennington stopped to save the day, several other motorists came to his aid and in the video you can see the performer sitting on the side of the highway after his rescue speaking on his cell phone. He seems to be completely unflustered by his experience and unharmed.
Dick Van Dyke spoke to TMZ about his close call saying, “They thought I had passed out so they yanked me out of the car.” The veteran performer also said that at first he know that his car was actually on fire. He said, “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.” The entertainer soon added his own comic touch to his fire rescue by several good samaritans on Twitter.
The star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Diagnosis Murder explained that he was not injured and that he was out of the Jaguar “long before” it burnt to a cinder. Mr Van Dyke said that he was incredibly lucky to be unharmed from the incident. He added, “Not only that, there was a fireman, a nurse and a cop just happened to be passing by. Somebody’s looking after me.”
Bob Palmer, who is the entertainer’s publicist, said that the “brand new” Jaguar caught fire just Van Dyke heard an strange noise coming from the car which caused him to pull off the highway and sit on the hard shoulder. Palmer also related Van Dyke’s feeling about the whole ordeal, “The only thing I’m embarrassed about is that I could never figure out that damned car.”
But Dick Van Dyke himself gave the entire incident his own comic touch when he got onto his Twitter account and posted:
It isn’t surprising that Dick Van Dyke would put his own comic touch on the close call he had on Monday. It is nice to see that he had so much help on hand and that he wasn’t injured from his car catching on fire. We, along with his many fans are very happy to see that he escaped unscathed from the incident. You can see the rescue on the video below from BiggiesWorld on YouTube.
By Michael Smith