Dr. Mehmet Oz is often making headlines for his stances on healthy living as the nationally syndicated talk show host, "Dr. Oz."
But the University of Pennsylvania medical school graduate and Wilmington, Del., native performed a real-life good deed far from any television cameras and without any media attention this weekend when he helped a woman from a car at a crash scene in lower Bucks County on Saturday.
Oz, along with other passersby, jumped into action before police and paramedics arrived to help a couple drivers involved in the two-car crash in Lower Southampton at about 1 p.m., the news website Levittown Now first reported.
And the celebrity doctor's Good Samaritan role in aiding the drivers would have gone unnoticed if not for the others who met him at the scene. A fellow Good Samaritan, Chris Simpson, a volunteer firefighter, tweeted a photo he took with Oz shortly after the crash, Levittown Now reported.
Simpson tweeted a photo at 4 p.m. Saturday with the message: "First on scene to a multi-vehicle multi-injury accident doing patient care side by side with Dr. Oz."
When reached Monday, Oz said he and his family witnessed the crash at Philmont Avenue and Street Road as they were driving to his wife's parents' house in Philadelphia to spend the weekend.
"We were two cars back when the car in front was making a left-hand turn," Oz said. "It's a very dangerous intersection. A car crossing the intersection hit the car turning head-on. It was like a scene right out of a movie. I thought for sure there would be fatalities. Luckily, there were not."
Oz said he jumped from the car and helped a woman from the vehicle that had been turning.
"The door was stuck, so I pried it open. I asked her if she was okay. She looked over at me and said, 'Oh, Dr. Oz.' It was surreal to have that happen, especially in that setting," he said. "I pulled her from the car because at that point, it was steaming and there was oil dripping. It eventually started rolling back down the hill there and collided with another car before rolling into a deep ravine."
Coincidentally, Oz also witnessed a crash in August outside his Manhattan television studio, a publicist for 'Dr Oz' said.
"I was at that crash with him. A taxi cab came onto the sidewalk and hit a tourist, severing her leg badly," show publicist Tim Sullivan said. "Dr. Oz didn't do much, but he helped to kind of keep everyone calm until the medics arrived. That woman is back in the U.K. recovering. She, sadly, had to have her leg amputated."
Oz said he had hoped no one would find out about his help at the crash this weekend because he's been involved in an unusual number of medical emergencies in the past year. Besides the two accident scenes, he also helped a man who collapsed next to him at the finish line of a 5K race in Utah.
"I have bad karma when I travel. It's like the classic 'Is there a doctor on the plane?'" he said. "I was a bit sheepish about letting people know about this one. The most heroic person at the scene was a pregnant woman who's an EMT. She's nine months pregnant, but jumped in to help."
He said another passerby that was a volunteer firefighter immediately started stopping traffic to clear the scene.
"It was really the perfect example of the classic can-do Philly approach," Oz said.
His wife's family is from Huntingdon Valley and the couple travels to the area almost every weekend, Oz said. His in-laws live only a couple miles from the crash site in greater Northeast Philadelphia.
"He goes to Eagles games and he goes to Sixers games. And his in-laws live down there," Sullivan said. "So he’s there almost every weekend. Philly is sort of his roots."
Oz joked that the last Eagles game he attended was the poor showing by the team against the New York Giants.
"I'm good friends with one of the 76ers co-owners, Michael Rubin, so sometimes I go down and bother him at games," Oz said, noting that he visited Vedge restaurant this past weekend — after his efforts at the crash scene.