An Iowa native who’s worked as a Hollywood stuntman for three decades is performing a fiery jump in his hometown this weekend to raise money for charity.
Mike Dochterman was a diver on the US Olympic team, a cliff diver in Mexico, and after finding work on the set of “Towering Inferno” in 1974, he’s stuck with stunts ever since. Dochterman has done all sorts of stunts in movies and T-V shows, including “Band of Brothers,” “Backdraft,” “Platoon” and “CSI Miami.” He also spent several years as Don Johnson’s stunt double on “Miami Vice.”
The 57-year-old is returning to Cedar Rapids to perform a dangerous feat — he’ll be set on fire to jump from a platform three-stories high into a pool of water three-feet deep. What part of the stunt is the most deadly? “I would say ‘D’ — all of the above. Actually all of it can be pretty dangerous. It’s bad enough being on fire is one thing, falling from three stories is another, but the most dangerous part is that sudden stop at the very end into only three feet of water.”
Dochterman lost his wife to cancer several years ago, so the Saturday stunt at a Cedar Rapids car dealership is a fundraiser for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society. Last year, Dochterman was badly hurt in a similar jump he made in Delaware to mark the retirement of NASCAR racer Rusty Wallace. Part of the pool collapsed just as he was being lit on fire. The water was only two feet deep to start with so as he fell, more water drained out of the pool and he shattered his foot and needed multiple surgeries to reconstruct the foot, allowing him to walk again.
The flaming jump stunt is scheduled for one o’clock Saturday at the First Avenue Chrysler/VW dealership in Cedar Rapids.