DICK VAN DYKE: UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED?
INSIDE STORY: DICK VAN DYKE, 87, “needs to be taken off the road – for his own safety!”
Apparently disoriented, comedy legend Van Dyke nearly burned alive when his car burst into flames, and friends fear his health is worsening.
“Dick’s gotten to the point where he needs to be taken off the road – for his own safety and the safety of other motorists,” a pal told The ENQUIRER.
“He’s very lucky. But the next time, he may not be.”
As NationalEnquirer.com first broke the news luck came in the form of passer-by Jason Pennington, who said he was driving along a California freeway when he saw a car full of smoke on the side of the road... and an elderly man inside hunched over the wheel.
It was Van Dyke. Pennington pulled the “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” star from his Jaguar car before it exploded in a fireball.
The comic seemed to regain his senses once he was outside the car and Dick told an onlooker: “They thought I passed out so they yanked me out of the car,” which Van Dyke said “had just started making a noise…Then it started smoking, then it burnt to a crisp!”
Dick admitted he felt lucky, saying: “Not only that but a fireman, a nurse and a cop just happened to be passing by!”
The near tragedy occurred on the 101 Freeway near Calabasas, just three months after Dick revealed he’d suffered seven years of head pains caused by dental implants.
California Highway Patrol responded to a report of a burning vehicle at about 2 p.m. on Aug. 19, and the official log noted that the driver was still inside, possibly unaware that the vehicle was on fire.
Thankfully, Dick didn’t require treatment and was collected from the scene and driven home by his wife of 18 months, Arlene Silver, 41.