Actor Dick Van Dyke, 87, was not injured when his Jaguar burst into flames on the 101 Freeway in Calabasas, California, on Monday afternoon, as Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather report for the Los Angeles Times (LAT). The car burned down to its frame, Wikipedia says on its Dick Van Dyke page.
The California Highway Patrol’s incident log says that the Patrol responded to a report of a car on fire on the right shoulder of the eastbound side of 101 at around 2 p.m., noting that the driver was in the car and possibly unaware that it was on fire, according to LAT. The log said that two off-duty nurses came to the rescue of Van Dyke. His wife, Arlene, 41, a makeup artist, arrived on the scene and she and Van Dyke tweeted about the scorched Jaguar. From her Twitter account, @speakyteeth, Arlene tweeted: “Van Dyke’s melted car @iammrvandy He’s fine thank God!! vine.co/v/hOjUae1muaa.”
In another LAT article, Joseph Serna and Andrew Blankstein write that the incident “left the actor — and his sense of humor — unscathed.” Hours after Van Dyke was pulled from the burning vehicle, he tweeted the following from his Twitter account @iammrvandy (Dick Van Dyke): “Used Jag for sale REAL CHEAP!! pic.twitter.com/SpQMsg3s2O.”
Van Dyke says in a KTLA news video on LAT that he thought he had a flat at first after his car started making a noise. He tells the reporter a good samaritan stopped and pulled him out of the car. “They thought I had passed out so they yanked me out of the car. I was just trying to call the DMC.” The car burst into flames and then there was a fiery explosion, the reporter says. The comedic actor said, “Somebody’s lookin’ after me.”
In the KTLA news video, on-air reporter Carolyn Costello says it is not clear what caused the fire, as there was no crash, and that Van Dyke refused medical treatment. This was not Van Dyke’s first lucky escape from danger. According to Wikipedia, in 2010 Van Dyke said that a pod of dolphins once rescued him from possible death when he was drifting out to sea. This past April, Van Dyke announced he had an undiagnosed neurological disorder, and in May he said it was his titanium dental implants that had caused it, the Wiki page says. Van Dyke’s favorite role was playing Bert the chimney-sweep in “Mary Poppins.”
You can see the KTLA news video here: