Jay Leno was reportedly in a car accident on Sunday night just days after his release from the hospital. Leno had a speedy recovery from serious burns he suffered in his private garage, and he rushed to get back on stage and assure fans he was alright. He hit a bit of a snag in that plan when he clipped a police car on Sunday evening.
Leno was pulling up to the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California in his Tesla when the accident happened. According to a report by TMZ, Leno grazed the cop car while trying to park in front of the venue. Video from the scene shows him looking chagrinned by the accident, but ultimately it seems he and the officers involved were able to laugh it off. Leno’s wife Mavis was in the car with him at the time, and he even managed to crack a few jokes about the fire that left him badly burned earlier this month.
Leno was working on one of his oldest vintage cars when he was burned – a 1907 Steam Car. While repairing a fuel line under the hood, a spurt of gasoline soaked Leno’s hands, face and shirt. An errant spark then caught, leaving Leno with second and third-degree burns on much of his upper body. Thankfully, a friend was in the garage with Leno to smother the flames and call for help. Leno was transported to Grossman Burn Center for specialty treatment that went surprisingly fast.
Leno received surgical excision grafting procedures in the days after the burn, meaning that damaged tissue was removed and a biological skin substitute was placed over the burned areas to speed the healing process. Between procedures, Leno was treated “aggressively” with hyperbaric oxygen therapy – a process that increases oxygenation of the skin and can greatly speed recovery of burns. Still, Leno’s doctor told reporters from PEOPLE that it would take time to discover if there would be lasting damage from this ordeal.
“Some of the burns to the face are a little deeper and a little more concerning,” said Dr. Peter Grossman. “Currently, there’s no evidence of nerve damage. I do anticipate him making a full recovery. Whether they’ll be remnants of this injury, it’s still too early to tell.”
Either way, Leno is intent on getting back on stage. Sunday night was his first stand-up performance since the accident, and it looks like the comedian was feeling good. There’s no word yet on when his next public engagement will take place.