Dick Van Dyke in freeway car fire

Dick Van Dyke in freeway car fire

Legendary actor Dick Van Dyke escaped death after he was pulled out of his car seconds before it burst into flames following an accident on a Los Angeles freeway.

Passers-by saw the 87-year-old seemingly slumped over in the driver's seat on the hard shoulder of the Ventura freeway. However, he was actually trying to make a phone call.

Van Dyke told celebrity news site TMZ that they "yanked me out of the car" before it went up in flames, although he hadn't realised his Jaguar was 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 actor is best known for his well-loved show 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' as well as famous roles in hit musicals such as Bye Bye Birdie, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A video of the charred wreckage of the car was later posted online by Van Dyke's wife Arlene, shortly before it was towed away by breakdown and recovery vehicles.

Not only did Van Dyke escape unhurt from the accident but "there was a fireman, a nurse and a cop just happened to be passing by. Somebody's looking after me," he told the TMZ reporter "tell 'em I have a nice used car for sale."

Copyright Press Association 2013