On Aug. 26, Schimmel and one of his sons were passengers in a car driven by his 19-year-old daughter Aliyah.
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Aliyah swerved to avoid another car while driving on a freeway and lost control of the vehicle. The car then rolled to the side of the road.
In 2000, after he was offered a special on HBO, and his self-titled sitcom was picked up by Fox, Schimmel faced a previous life-threatening scare. He was diagnosed with stage III Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
His sitcom was then canceled and Schimmel began chemotherapy treatment.
Despite the blow to his career, Schimmel refused to give up on his comedy and found that laughter was indeed some of the best medicine.
In a 2005 Reader's Digest article, Schimmel wrote about how he used comedy to not only lift his own spirits during treatment, but how he helped other cancer patients.
"As a kid, I learned that if you could make people laugh, everyone liked you. And the feeling I got from making people laugh was addictive. I had no way of knowing then that the power of laughter would save my life," he wrote.
In 2008, Schimmel also penned a best-seller about his experience battling the disease called, "Cancer on $5 A Day* Chemo Not Included."
He is survived by his second wife, who he was in the process of divorcing, and five children. Schimmel lost one child, Derek, 11, to brain cancer in 1992.