David Manpearl is credited with helping rescue Anne Heche after her car exploded after it crashed August 5 into a Los Angeles home. Manpearl aided a neighbor and tried to free Heche, who survived but suffered serious injuries.
The 53-year-old actress slammed into a garage at about 11 a.m. Friday, August 5, 2022, then backed up and careened into another house, according to TMZ. Heche was intubated and in critical condition after the crash, TMZ reported.
NBC Los Angeles reported it took 59 firefighters to extinguish the blaze, and that the crash caused structural damage to a home after her blue Mini Cooper went 30 feet into the building. Photos of the aftermath showed the extent of the damage.
Here’s what you need to know:
Manpearl Helped His Neighbor Rescue Her Pets From Inside the House After Heche Crashed Into the Home
David Manpearl told the Daily Mail that he did not think it was possible anyone could have survived the crash he witnessed.
“At about 10:50 a.m. I heard a car go speeding by and looked out my window, where I saw the car going about 90 miles an hour,” he told the outlet. “Within seconds, I heard a loud crash at which point I ran outside in my flip-flops because I knew someone was hurt and, boy, was I right.”
He lives about five houses down from the house where the fiery crash occurred, he told the Daily Mail, and caught the moments leading up to the crash on his Ring doorbell camera.
He told the Daily Mail that he rushed to the scene and found a neighbor outside.
“Before I approached the car, I saw the resident of the home standing barefoot in the debris. She was in shock and frantically asked me to help get her pets out of the house,” Manpearl said. “I was able to get the leashes for her two small dogs and escorted her out of the side of her house. She had her two dogs with her and a tortoise.”
Manpearl Said He Did Not Think It Was Possible for Heche to Survive After Being Trapped in the Burning Car
Manpearl told the Daily Mail that he was unable to free Heche from the vehicle, and after she was trapped for about 30 minutes in the burning car, he thought there was no way she would have survived.
He said he found Heche, whom he did not recognize as the actress, trapped between the airbag and the seat of her car.
“I tried speaking with her a few times asking if she was OK, but she wasn’t responding so I had to get closer. I was able to open the back door of the car and crawled halfway inside,” he said. “This time when I asked her if she was OK, she said no.”
He told the Daily Mail that he and the neighbor were trying to put out the fire when firefighters arrived on the scene. The blaze had spread from the car to the house, he said.
“I was positive that the driver was dead,” he said, as rescue attempts dragged on. “That she had burned up. It took at least 30 minutes for the fire department to douse the flames, extract the car and pull her out of the car.”