Investigators: Speed factor in crash that killed Paul Walker

a a a a
Share this story
Show Related Headlines
Related Articles
Speed a factor in crash that killed Paul Walker
Images of actor Paul Walker through the years

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Investigators sought to determine the cause of a fiery crash that killed "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker while the actor's fans erected a makeshift memorial Sunday near where the Porsche he was riding in smashed into a light pole and tree.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said speed was a factor in Saturday's one-car crash, though it will take time to determine how fast the car was going.

Because Walker is so closely associated with the underground culture of street racing portrayed in the popular "Fast & Furious" film franchise, the fatal accident had an eerie quality - a tragic end for a Hollywood hero of speed.

The crash also killed Walker's friend and financial adviser Roger Rodas, according to Walker's publicist, Ame Van Iden. She said Walker was a passenger in the 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT when they drove away from a fundraiser in the community of Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Sheriff's deputies found the car engulfed in flames when they arrived at the site of the crash, near the fundraiser at Rodas' sport car dealership. Officials have not identified either person found in the car.

On Sunday, fans of Walker, 40, gathered to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia from the action movies.

Walker is "gone but he'll never be forgotten because there are so many people that look up to him," Joel Perez, 23, told the Los Angeles Times at the memorial.

Sheriff's deputy Peter Gomez said investigators are working to determine how fast the car was traveling and what caused it to go out of control, including whether the driver was distracted or something in the road prompted him to swerve.

After the Porsche crashed into a light pole and tree, it burst into flames. The downed light pole had a speed limit sign of 45 mph.

Walker rode the "Fast & Furious" franchise to fame, starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters, beginning with the first film in 2001. He had been on break from shooting the seventh installment; production began in September and while much of the film has been shot, it's incomplete.

Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with "Fast & Furious 7," which currently is slated for release in July.

Walker and Rodas had thrown a fundraiser benefiting victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The event was held by Reach Out Worldwide, a charity Walker founded in 2010 to aid victims of natural disasters.

The fundraiser and toy drive took place at Rodas' custom car shop, Always Evolving, in an area of warehouses and office parks. Attendees rushed to the crash, which was nearby but out of sight, to try to put out the flames with fire extinguishers.

One attendee of the event, Jim Torp, said he heard the loud sound of a car's engine revving and then an explosion. Walker and Rodas planned a quick ride, Torp said.

"The last words Paul said to anybody were, `Hey, I'll be back in five minutes. All right?' And that was it," according to Torp.

Torp said Rodas had a young son, whom he tried to stop from running to the accident scene, but could not catch him in time.

Walker left behind two completed films. He stars in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama "Hours," which Lionsgate's Pantelion Films is to release Dec. 13. He also stars in "Brick Mansions," a remake of the French action film "District B13" that Relativity plans to release next year.

His "Fast & Furious" co-stars reacted in shock the actor's death. Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: "I am absolutely speechless." Lucadris said on Twitter: "Wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers."

Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter.

---

Coyle reported from New York.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Celebrity News
Kris Jenner briefly hospitalized for internal...
Kris Jenner briefly hospitalized for internal...

KIM KARDASHIAN's manager mother KRIS JENNER was hospitalized on Wednesday (16Apr14) after reportedly experiencing mystery "internal…

Stars pay tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Stars pay tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Stars including FOREST WHITAKER, LENA DUNHAM, SHAKIRA and EVA LONGORIA have paid tribute to beloved Colombian author GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ…

Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies days after...
Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies days after...

Beloved Colombian author GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ has died in Mexico.

Chelsea Clinton pregnant
Chelsea Clinton pregnant

Former leader BILL CLINTON is set to become a grandfather - his daughter Chelsea is pregnant with her first child.

Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy earn...
Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy earn...

Newly-engaged couple DONNIE WAHLBERG and JENNY McCARTHY have been given the blessing of their children and former spouses to wed after…

Lindsay Lohan slams mother's 'party girl' image
Lindsay Lohan slams mother's 'party girl' image

LINDSAY LOHAN has come to the defense of her mother Dina, insisting she has never been a party girl.

Lady Gaga recuperating after dental surgery
Lady Gaga recuperating after dental surgery

Pop superstar LADY GAGA is recuperating after undergoing dental surgery on Thursday (17Apr14).

Miley Cyrus axes more shows as she remains...
Miley Cyrus axes more shows as she remains...

MILEY CYRUS has postponed two more concerts on her Bangerz tour as she remains hospitalized for a severe allergic reaction.

Rihanna settles legal battle with former...
Rihanna settles legal battle with former...

RIHANNA has agreed a settlement to end a long-running legal battle with her former accountants.

Victoria Beckham celebrates birthday with...
Victoria Beckham celebrates birthday with...

VICTORIA BECKHAM marked her 40th birthday by gathering her family and friends for a special dinner in Malibu, California.