Dick Van Dyke escapes freeway fire

Mary Poppins star is rescued from sports car blaze.

by Jennie Kermode

87 year old Dick Van Dyke, the much loved star of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, is recovering today after being rescued from a burning car. He was driving his Jaguar down the freeway just outside Los Angeles when it suddenly burst into flames, and though he managed to pull over onto the hard shoulder he subsequently collapsed at the wheel. Fortunately he was spotted by passer-by Jason Pennington, who noticed that the car was full of smoke and forced open the door to pull him to safety.

Van Dyke was given roadside assistance by a group of nurses who also happened to be passing. Fortunately he did not suffer serious problems and did not need to go to hospital. His wife soon arrived at the scene to drive him home.

The ageing star already owed his life to sharp-eyed rescuers, having been pushed to safety by porpoises a few years ago when he fell asleep on his surfboard and started drifting out to sea.

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