Actor Dick Van Dyke accepts the life achievement award at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California
Actor Dick Van Dyke accepts the life achievement award at the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, California

Dick Van Dyke had a lucky escape today after he was pulled from a burning car by a passer-by as he was driving on the freeway near Los Angeles.

The 87-year-old actor, who is best known for his roles in musicals like Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and TV shows such as Diagnosis: Murder was apparently spotted by passers-by slumped over the driver's seat of his car.

Van Dyke reportedly had no idea that his car was on fire, telling TMZ, "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 also said that far from being unconscious he was actually attempting to make a phone call before he was "yanked" out of the car by a passer-by, named as Jason Pennington.

No one was hurt in the incident.