- A photo surfaced on Sunday of Paul Walker, 40, getting into his friend’s Porsche GT just 30 minutes before it spun out of control and hit a pole and tree
- Sheriff’s Department believes speed was a factor in the crash and figure 8 patterns were found on the road nearby
- The driver of the vehicle was former race car driver Roger Rodas, Walker’s friend and financial adviser
- LA County Coroner has requested dental records as both bodies were so badly burned it will take days for them to be positively identified
- The 40-year-old starred in five of the six Fast & Furious films about illegal street racing and heists
- Actor had been at an event for his charity Reach Out Worldwide before deciding to take the car out for a drive
- The fundraiser to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan was taking place in a race car shop near to the crash scene
- Walker was the father of daughter, Meadow, 15, who recently moved to California to be closer to him and his long-term girlfriend Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23
Alex Greig, Tara Brady and David Mccormack
10:16 EST, 1 December 2013
04:30 EST, 2 December 2013
The 8-year-old son of Roger Rodas, 38, was one of the first to the site of the horrific car crash that claimed the lives of his father and 40-year-old actor Paul Walker on Saturday.
Before the flames had even died down around the Porsche Carrera GT after it smashed into a tree during a charity event in Santa Clarita, California, Rodas’ son heroically came rushing to try and pull his dad from the inferno.
‘His son had jumped the fence and gone over, he was trying to get his dad out,’ said eyewitness Jim Torp.
The tragic detail emerged after footage surfaced of the Fast & Furious actor stepping into his friend’s ill-fated sports car just 30 minutes before the
horrendous crash in which the pair lost their lives.
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In this tragic photograph actor Paul Walker, best known for his role in the Fast & Furious action movies, is seen stepping into his friend Roger Rodas’ Porsche GT just moments before the horrendous crash in which the pair lost their lives
According to Radar Online, the crash happened so close to the charity event that Walker was attending that Rodas’s son was on the scene in mere seconds.
‘There was nothing he could do,’ Torp said.
TMZ reports that the crash occurred as the friends were on their way back from a 20 minute drive.
to that drive, Rodas had personally taken the wheel of the vehicle
after one of the former race car driver’s employees at the upscale auto
shop he owned was having issues backing the car up into the garage. The
vehicle reportedly kept stalling for the employee.
As Rodas took control, Walker hopped in because he hadn’t yet had a chance to take a spin in the impressive sports car.
The crash occurred just yards away from the auto shop as the friends returned.
county coroner has revealed that the bodies of Walker and and his
friend/business partner were so badly burned in the horrific incident
that they are currently unidentifiable.
‘There was a post-collision fire and bodies are not visually identifiable,’ said L.A. County deputy coroner Dana Bee.
Paul Walker, 40, was killed in the crash along with his friend and business partner Roger Rodas, right, who was driving. The star leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, left, who had recently moved to California from Hawaii to be closer to him
Fans gather and place flowers on Sunday at the scene of a fiery crash that killed Fast & Furious star Paul Walker in the Santa Clarita area of Los Angeles
The L.A. County Coroner’s office has
requested dental records for both victims before they can identify the
bodies. Autopsies on both bodies have been delayed until later this
week, reports TMZ.
who appeared in five of the six films about illegal street racing and
heists, had been at an event for his charity Reach Out Worldwide before
deciding to take the car, a cherry-red Porsche, out for a drive with his
Walker was a
self-confessed adrenaline junkie who enjoyed fast cars, surfing and
outdoor pursuits. On his official Twitter account, he
described himself as ‘outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie …
and I do some acting on the side.’
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that speed was a factor in the crash.
‘He lived his life and he died fast
and furious today. He loved speed, he loved cars, and he had to die this
way. He died in a very fast car with his friend,’ Torp told the Daily News.
Up and down the road near the crash site were burned rubber and doughnut marks as though someone smoked their tires in figure 8 patterns.
‘I don’t know if the marks in the road are related to the crash,’ said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen.
The wreck took place about 3:30 p.m., about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held and where the speed limit is 45 mph.
Guests rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fireball had already engulfed the car.
Deputies arrived to find a vehicle on fire and once fire crews put the flames out, they found two occupants. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
By Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the red car and a light pole that had been knocked down.
The driver of the car was identified as former race car driver Rodas, who was also Walker’s financial adviser. The pair were friends and had been racing for several years before they began collaborating on Walker’s finances.
Better days: Here, Walker is pictured with his 15-year-old daughter Meadow (far right) as he takes a break from filming in Montreal back in June
Woman he left behind: Walker had been dating Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23, for the past seven years, relatives have said she is ‘broken up’ over his loss and that she was quickly becoming a stepmother to Meadow
Fans write remembrances, left, while leaving flowers, candles and even DVDs, right, at the scene of the crash that killed Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas in the Santa Clarita area of Los Angeles on Saturday
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that speed was a factor in the crash and that up and down the road near the crash site were burned rubber and doughnut marks as though someone smoked their tires in figure 8 patterns
Wreckage: Actor Paul Walker died in the crash alongside his friend after they decided to take the sports car out for a spin during a charity event
Horror crash: First responders gather evidence near the wreckage of a Porsche sports car that crashed into a light pole on Hercules Street near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia on Saturday, November 30, killing actor Paul Walker
The remains of the Porsche that Walker and his friend died in is taken away. The L.A. County Coroner has requested dental records for both victims before they can identify the bodies
TMZ also reports that Walker’s childhood friend Nute was one of the first to reach the fiery crash with a fire extinguisher and tried desperately to put out the fire despite seeing quite clearly that the crash was not survivable.
Nute then swung at responding officers, who initially placed him under arrest but let him go once the circumstances became clear.
Fellow co-star and rapper Tyrese Gibson broke down in tears when he attended the crash scene last night less than 24 hours after Walker was killed.
Everyone around him fell silent as the rapper laid two flowers where his friend died.
Tyrese also took a piece of the wreckage home and posted a photo of it online. He wrote: ‘I will keep your energy with me forever #AshesOfAnAngel fast family around the world we live you and we love you Paul is the heartbeat of this franchise and we’re gonna see it that his energy presence lives on forever #myhearthurtssobad’
Distraught: Tyrese Gibson co-star and friend to Paul Walker breaks down in tears during his emotional visit to the site of the tragic car accident in Santa Clarita
Rapper Tyrese Gibson was overcome with emotion when he visited the crash scene where his friend Paul Walker died in Santa Clarita
Devastated: Tyrese Gibson took a piece of the crash scene which he said he would keep to hold on to Walker’s energy forever
A crowd of media and mourners remained silent as Tyrese paid tribute with two flowers. He later tweeted, ‘At least I got to say I love you #OurLastExchange
Mourning: Tyrese Gibson, who starred in the Fast & Furious. breaks down at the scene of the crash where his friend Paul Walker died
He later tweeted: ‘At least I got to say I love you #OurLastExchange but our laughs and moments will live forever.’
Walker leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, who had
recently moved to California from Hawaii to be closer to him.
actor was also dating Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23, when he died and
she is ‘broken up’ over his loss, relatives have revealed.
Her uncle Barton Bruner said that she is being comforted by her mother Julie as she struggles to cope with the ‘horrible’ news.
said: ‘Paul was a really good guy and Jasmine is broken up by this. I
went to Thanksgiving with him, played golf with him.
‘They had their ups and downs but they were together and looking to spend a bright future together.
‘This is horrible news and unexpected. Her mother is with her and she is comforting her’.
Across social media sites, fans have been posting a quote – ‘If one day the speed kills me, do not cry because I was smiling’ – attributed to Walker
A memorial for Paul Walker:
Fans have been paying their respects to the Fast and Furious actor at the scene of the crash, he died on Saturday afternoon along with his friend Roger Rodas
‘Hurting so bad’: Co-stars and fans were both shaken by the news of the actor’s death. Fast & Furious co-star Tyrese took to Twitter, writing: ‘My heart is hurting so bad.’ Tyrese was seen at the crash site visibly emotional as he mourned his friend’s death
‘Race in paradise’: The memorial near the site of the Santa Clarita gained more visitors, mementos, flowers and messages of remembrance on Sunday
‘Unbelievable’: Visitors to the memorable found the scene difficult to see following the crash that left a charred Porsche wrapped around a tree. Even after authorities picked over the scene, it remained difficult for some to see. ‘It was just unbelievable,’ said Sandra Caipo, who visited the scene
Walker reportedly started dating Pilchard-Gosnell when she was just 16, meaning he would have been 33, an age gap of 17 years.
She was supposedly beginning to become the step-mother to Walker’s daughter, even though she is only 10 years older.
The star’s representatives and official Facebook page have confirmed his death.
Ame Van Iden, Walker’s publicist, said in an email: ‘Sadly, I must
confirm that Paul did pass away this afternoon in a car accident.’
The actor’s official Facebook page was
also updated with the message: ‘It is with a truly heavy heart that we
must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident
while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out
‘He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives.
High powered: The cherry-red Porsche Carrera GT that Paul Walker died in on Saturday afternoon when his friend apparently lost control of the vehicle, hitting a light pole
THE OTHER VICTIM: WALKER’S FRIEND AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATE
The driver of the car that killed Paul Walker has been identified as former race car driver Roger Rodas, 38, who was also Walker’s financial adviser.
The pair were friends and had been racing for several years before they began collaborating on Walker’s finances.
had helped Walker establish his Reach Out Worldwide charity, after
creating his own foundation to support widows and orphans in his native
Rodas was also the CEO of Always Evolving, the car customization shop where Saturday’s charity event had been taking place. Walker was an investor in the business.
It is believed the pair were leaving the event when the crash occurred.
‘We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.
you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very
difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to
send condolences. – #TeamPW.’
Since the crash, fans and people
wishing to pay their respects have left messages of condolence as well
as candles and flowers at the site of the crash.
social media sites, fans have been posting a quote – ‘If one day the
speed kills me, do not cry because I was smiling’ – that is attributed
While at the event, Walker and Rodas decided to take the Porsche GT out for a spin.
One witness, Jim Tort, who was at the event told the NY Daily News, Rodas’ eight-year-old son tried to save his dad.
‘I ran over afterwards, I was trying to find Roger’s son.
‘I found out his son had jumped the fence and gone over. He was trying to get his dad out.
Coroner Ed Winters said the bodies were so badly burned they would take days for them to be positively identified.
Witnesses at the crash scene posted a video of the scene on YouTube showing debris from the wreckage while emergency workers cordoned off the area. Photographs also show a burnt out shell of a car.
of the star told a local newspaper they ‘went through fire
extinguishers’ in a futile bid to fight the blaze that engulfed the car
after the crash.
Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Signal: ‘We all ran around and jumped in cars and grabbed fire extinguishers
and immediately went to the vehicle. It was engulfed in flames. There
‘They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried.’
Holmes added: ‘Him
and his buddy, his brother in arms at heart just decided to joyride,
take a spin. Something we all do. We’re all car enthusiasts…
all here driving, enjoying each other, and God must’ve needed help.
‘When we saw Paul and Roger leave, Paul was the passenger in the vehicle. They both were experienced drivers.
‘This was just a tragic accident that happened on a joyride,’ said witness Jim Torp of Santa Clarita.
In the ‘Fast & Furious’, the
blond-haired, blue-eyed actor played Brian O’Conner, a law enforcement
official and starred in all but one of the six action blockbusters which
began in 2001.
born in Los Angeles and brought Californian surfer good-looks and an
easy, warm charm to the popular street-racing series.
‘All of us at Universal are heartbroken,’ Universal Pictures said in a statement.
was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio
family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone
involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans.’
Tragic: One witness, Jim Tort, said that one of those people on the scene who witnessed the crash and attempted to help the men was Roger Rodas’ eight-year-old son
Aftermath: Firefighters attend the scene where Paul Walker died when the car he was a passenger in crashed into a pole and a tree
Engulfed: This witness photo shows the Porsche completely engulfed by flames after the driver lost control, hitting a pole and killing himself and Paul Walker
Desperate: Bystanders desperately tried to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fire was too strong
Crash site: Sheriff deputies work near the wreckage of the Porsche sports car that crashed into a pole on Hercules Street near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia
Mystery: Investigators do not know what caused the driver of the vehicle to lose control and crash into a pole
Investigation: Fire officers examine the wreckage of the burnt out car where Paul Walker and his friend died
After a long evaluation the coroners laid the two bodies into body bags and transported them into the coroner’s van
A friend lost: Tech entrepreneur and author Bill Townsend posted this picture of himself with Paul Walker taken hours before the actor’s tragic death in a car accident in California
Touching: Ludacris posted this tribute to tragic co-star Paul Walker on his Facebook page on Saturday
His ‘Fast & Furious’ co-star Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: ‘Brother I will miss you very much’
WALKER WAS DUE ON SET NEXT WEEK: WHAT NEXT FOR THE FAST & FURIOUS FRANCHISE?
Following the tragic death of Paul Walker, the entire future of the extremely popular Fast & Furious franchise hangs in limbo.
Walker had been scheduled to fly to Atlanta this week to resume filming, with TMZ reporting that he was supposed to be filming some ‘key scenes’ for the latest film in the highly successful franchise.
Filming will now grind to a halt following the untimely death of Walker, who played lead character Brian
O’Conner in six of seven film installments.
Universal – the studio behind the movie – doesn’t know when, or if, they will start shooting again although if it does go ahead the script will require a significant rewrite to explain the loss of such an integral character.
The last film, released in May, was the most lucrative of them all, grossing more than $788 million worldwide.The one sequel that Walker didn’t appear in The
Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006) was the least successful.
The seventh installment of the street racing series, also due to star Jordana Brewester, Vin Diesel, Michele Rodriguez and Dwayne Johnson, was scheduled for a July 2014 release.
Director James Wan tweeted that he was ‘beyond heartbroken’ and was unable to ‘process anything’ in the hours following the 40-year-old star’s death.
The last post to Walker’s Twitter profile before his accident on Saturday was dated Nov. 29, and included a still from what appeared to be the set of Fast & Furious 7 and a message that read ‘The boys are back. Will you be ready?’
Walker had recently joked that he would continue working on the long-running film franchise until ‘Fast & Furious 66′.
Walker and co-star Vin Diesel in a scene from Fast & Furious 6: The deceased star had appeared in all but one of the highly successful franchise and had recently begun work on the seventh installment
Movie wife: Jordana Brewster starred with Walker in the high octane thriller franchise Fast & Furious as the late actor’s wife
Fond memories: Fast & Furious co-star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson also tweeted condolences following the well-liked actor’s death
His ‘Fast & Furious’ co-star Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: ‘Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless.’
Another co-star, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, also took to social media to convey his condolences. Johnson also posted an old photo of him and the late Walker.
The son of a fashion model and a sewer contractor, Walker grew up in a working class, Mormon Los Angeles household.
The oldest of five siblings, Walker’s mother began taking him to auditions as a toddler.
He was a child model from the age of two and starred in a Pampers commercial when he was a toddler.
Heartthrob: Walker was a child model and the face of Davidoff Cool Water, appearing in print commercials for the brand
Walker was born in Glendale, California, and raised in the San Fernando Valley area with his four siblings.
He previously said the early induction to show business wasn’t to kick start his career but a way to help provide for the family.
After a string of TV roles as a child in the 1980s, Walker made his feature film debut in the 1998 comedy Meet the Deedles.
Supporting roles in films Pleasantville, Varsity Blues and She’s All That followed.
His performance in the 2000 thriller The Skulls caught the eye of producer Neal H. Moritz, who cast him in the Fast & Furious as undercover police officer Brian O’Conner.
Adapted from a Vibe magazine article about underground street races, the film became an unexpected hit.
In the sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Walker moved to centre stage with his co-star Vin Diesel momentarily dropping out.
Walker, a self-described ‘gearhead,’ kept his character’s sports car from the film.
Other roles include Brokedown Palace,
Flags of Our Fathers and the Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, which is
set to be released in December.
Although his stardom didn’t make as much of an impact outside the Fast & Furious series, Walker continually drew praise from his co-stars and directors as a kind-hearted and eager collaborator.
Too soon: Paul Walker with co-star Vin Diesel (right) in the 2001 film The Fast & the Furious and with Ludacris (left) in the sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious
Tragic ending: Walker starred in Fast & Furious, the fourth installment of the franchise in 2009 (left) and the next one, Fast Five (right) in 2011
Early days: Walker as a young child (left) and pictured in Village Christian High School yearbook in 1991, the year he was voted ‘Best Hair’
Jesse Brisendine, an internationally recognized life coach, wrote on Facebook: ‘3 years ago Paul Walker and I were sitting around talking about goals and dreams.
‘I asked him what he would want written on his tombstone and his response was “He was a good guy and a kind person.”
‘Having known Paul and being privileged to call him a best friend and brother, having traveled the world together, having shared 1000′s of laughs and tears together, I can honestly say that Paul was more than a good guy and a kind person,’ he wrote.
The post continued: ‘He is one of the kindest, caring, compassionate people I have ever met. He always wanted to learn, he always wanted to grow, he always wanted to be the best person he can be.
‘I know he would want the same for all those who know him and know of him: to do your best to be the best person you can be.’
Hollywood stars have paid tribute to the actor, including rapper and actor Ludacris, who tweeted his shock and sadness at his Fast & Furious co-star’s untimely death.
Alongside a touching picture of the film’s cast holding hands, he wrote: ‘Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark.
‘We were like brothers & our birthdays are only 1 day apart, now You will forever hold a place in all of our hearts @paulwalker legacy will live on forever. R.I.P.’
‘Effortlessly golden’: Outside of the Fast & Furious franchise, Walker’s movies included Varsity Blues with James Van Der Beek, left, (1999) and Into The Blue (2005) with Jessica Alba. On Saturday, Van Der Beek tweeted, ‘I just remember him being so effortlessly golden.’
Animal lover: Walker at the premiere of his film Eight Below (left) said the best thing about the film was the dogs. The star had two dogs, including a Chesapeake Bay retrieve called Boone
‘No, @RealPaulWalker. No. No. No,’ tweeted actress Alyssa Milano. Walker guest-starred with her in the 80s comedy, Who’s The Boss? ‘Rest with the angels. You. Sweet boy. #beauty #love #RIP.’
Actress Goldie Hawn said: ‘Our family mourns the loss of Paul. A very special Human being. Our prayers go his beloved family.’
Bring It On star Gabrielle Union said: ‘This is awful. Awful. #RIPPaulWalker pls pray for his family, friends & fans. We’ve lost a great, laid back, sweet, cool man & father.’
The Wire actor Michael B Jordan said: ‘Man life is so short. People you care about can be here one min and gone the next Don’t take life for granted RIP Paul Walker.’
TV host Vanessa Lachey said: ‘I just heard and am in shock. Prayers to Paul Walker’s family. Life is precious, never take a day for granted. #RIPPaulWalker’
Castmates: Paul Walker with Tyrese Gibson (left), Vin Diesel (center left), and Ludacris (right) at the premiere of Fast & Furious 5 in Brazil, 2011
Tribute: Walker’s death was announced on his Facebook page with this message
James Franco said: ‘Much love to paul walker. So sad. He gave a lot of joy.’
Mario Lopez, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jack Osborne and DMX also tweeted about the death.
Walker’s death came just days after he was the victim of an online death hoax.
The actor will star in the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama, Hours, which Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films is to release December 13.
He also stars in Brick Mansions, a remake of the French action film District B13 in post-production that Relativity plans to release next year.
Relativity President Tucker Tooley said in a statement: ‘Paul was an incredibly talent artist, devoted philanthropist and friend,’
Walker formed Reach Out Worldwide in 2010 to aid people struck by natural disasters.
Bill Townsend, a friend of Walker’s who attended the fundraiser, said: ‘He was very happy. He was smiling at everybody, just tickled that all these people came out to support this charity. He was doing what he loved. He was surrounded by friends, surrounded by cars.’