I never knew this guy in person so why does his passing hurt so much? Its stories like this that make you wish you could raise the person up from the dead, shake ’em, spank ’em and yell, “what were you thinking?” before giving them a hug of relief. Sadly, that will not be the case in this matter.
- Police are now probing whether the supercar was racing at the time of fatal crash
- The driver of the vehicle was former race car driver Roger Rodas, Paul Walker‘s friend and financial adviser
- Father Paul Walker Snr has paid tribute to his son: ‘His heart was so big. I was proud of him every day of his life.’
- The 40-year-old starred in five of the six Fast & Furious films about illegal street racing and heists
- A teaser leaked online for the franchise’s latest DVD chillingly includes Walker’s co-star Tyrese Gibson saying the line: ‘Promise me, no more funerals’, before Walker replies: ‘Just one more.’
- Walker leaves behind daughter, Meadow, 15, and long-term girlfriend Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23
- Officials confirm speed WAS a factor in the crash as sources say a steering-fluid leak may have also caused the driver to lose steering
By Alex Greig, Tara Brady and David McCormack
The supercar that actor Paul Walker was in when he died was racing another vehicle at speeds of more than 100mph when the fatal crash occurred, witnesses claim.
Police are investigating tip-offs from possible witnesses that the Porsche‘s owner Roger Rodas, who also perished in the crash, was in the middle of a street race at the time, TMZ reports.
Other reports today claim the former Pirelli World Challenge race car driver was going 100mph just moments before the crash despite traveling through a 45mph zone.
‘Though the investigation is in its early stages, investigators from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department believe the Porsche was going over 100 mph,’ a source close to the investigation told Radar.
Detectives are now appealing for anyone who may have video of the car to come forward.
Scroll down for videos
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
In this 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
It is understood the fatal incident took place in an area popular with street racers.
The new twist in the case comes as Paul Walker Snr, the Fast & Furious film actor’s father, paid an emotional tribute to his son, saying: ‘His heart was so big. I was proud of him every day of his life.’
Choking on his tears, Mr Walker told website JustJared: ‘I’m just glad, that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him. And he would say the same thing to me.’
Describing how friends and relatives had rallied around to support the family in their time of grief, he added: ‘You can’t beat friends at a time like this. His brothers are all taking it pretty hard.’
Mr Walker also told how his son had been determined to cut back on filming commitments to spend more time with his daughter just before he died.
He said: ‘He told me “I want to take a hiatus”, his daughter Meadow is just 15 and “I don’t have much more time to be with her” and then boom, he got another movie. He would say, “I don’t know what to do.”
No survivors: The remains of the Porsche Carrera GT
lie where the vehicle came to rest. The steering wheel shows the driver’s position, meaning that Walker would have been sitting at the point where the vehicle struck the trees
Heartbroken: Paul Walker’s father, Paul Walker Senior paid tribute to his son today as family members joined fans to mourn at the makeshift memorial at the crash site
Today co-star Tyrese Gibson wept as he visited the crash site to lay flowers. Hundreds of fans have turned the site into a makeshift shrine.
Meanwhile, a haunting clip of tragic actor Paul Walker promising there would be ‘just one more’ funeral in the next Fast & Furious film was leaked online just three days before he died in the smash.
In the teaser scene, from Fast & Furious 7 but released as an extra on the DVD and Blu-ray versions of Fast & Furious 6, Walker’s character, Brian O’Conner, makes the remark to co-star Tyrese Gibson’s character, Roman Pierce, at the funeral of Han and Gisele.
Standing in the graveyard, Gibson turns to Walker and says: ‘Promise me Brian, no more funerals.’
‘Just one more,’ responds Walker, a reference to Jason Statham’s villainous character Ian Shaw.
The clip was leaked on film website Movies.com on November 27. Fast & Furious 6 is to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on December 10 in the U.S.
Disbelief: Damian Diaz writes on a Racer’s Prayer board as people gather around a make-shift memorial site at the spot
Sheriff’s deputy Peter Gomez said investigators are continuing to work to determine how fast the car was traveling and what caused it to lose control, Fox News reported. They will be investigating whether the driver was distracted or if he swerved to avoid something in the road.
It comes amid claims the crash may have been caused by a steering malfunction in the high-performance sports car.
Sources linked to Always Evolving – the shop co-owned by Walker and the Porsche driver Roger Rodas – told TMZ they saw evidence of a fluid burst and subsequent fluid trail before the skid marks at the accident site.
They said the noticeable lack of skid marks until just before the crash site suggest the driver may have lost control of the steering. On top of that, they appear in a straight line, not in a swerve pattern as normally occurs when a driver loses control of a car.
The sources also told the website that the flames spread so quickly to the front of the car reinforces their theory of a steering fluid leak. The engine of a Porsche Carrera is at the back of the vehicle.
It was also revealed today that the eight-year-old son of Rodas was one of the first to the site of the horrific car crash.
Before the flames had even died down, Rodas’s 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 witness 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.
According to Radar Online, the crash happened so close to the charity event 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.
Prior 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.
The county coroner has revealed that the bodies of Walker and Rodas were so badly burned that they are currently unidentifiable.
‘There was a post-collision fire and bodies are not visually identifiable,’ said LA County deputy coroner Dana Bee.
Tragic loss: Paul Walker, 40, leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, pictured with him above left, who had recently moved to California from Hawaii to be closer to him. Walker was killed in the crash along with his friend and business partner Roger Rodas, pictured with Walker above right
The LA 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.
Walker, who appeared in six of the seven 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 friend.
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 wreck took place about 3.30pm, about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held – and where the speed limit is 45mph.
Guests rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fireball had already engulfed the car.
By Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the red car and a light pole that had been knocked down.
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
TMZ also reports that Walker’s childhood friend Nute was one of the first to reach the scene with a fire extinguisher and tried desperately to put out the flames despite seeing quite clearly that the crash was not survivable.
Nute then took a swing at responding officers, who initially placed him under arrest but let him go once the circumstances became clear.
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 was nothing.
‘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…
‘We’re all here driving, enjoying each other, and God must’ve needed help.
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
‘When we saw Paul and Roger leave, Paul was the passenger in the vehicle. They both were experienced drivers.’
Fellow co-star and rapper Tyrese Gibson broke down when he attended the crash scene last night, less than 24 hours after Walker was killed. Standing amid the notes, candles and flowers dedicated fans have put together for the star, he burst into tears.
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’
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.
The actor was also dating Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23, who is said to be ‘broken up’ over his loss, relatives have revealed.
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 & 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
‘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
Removing the wreck: The remains of the Porsche are taken away. The L.A. County Coroner has requested dental records for both victims before they can identify the bodies
Her uncle Barton Bruner said that she is being comforted by her mother Julie as she struggled to cope with the ‘horrible’ news.
Bruner 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’.
The driver of the car in which Paul Walker died 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.
Rodas had helped Walker establish his Reach Out Worldwide charity, after creating his own foundation to support widows and orphans in his native El Salvador.
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.
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 actor’s official Facebook page told fans of his death: ‘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 Worldwide.
‘He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives.
‘We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news.
‘Thank 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.
Across 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 to Walker.
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.
He was 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.
‘Paul 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.’
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.
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.
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
Desperate: Bystanders desperately tried to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fire was too strong
Following the tragic death of Paul Walker, the future of the latest Fast & Furious film is in doubt.
A meeting was held on Monday between director James Wan and Universal executives, and filming is unlikely to resume, according to Digital Spy.
A large part of the film has already been shot, although Walker and the rest of the cast were scheduled to travel to Abu Dhabi to film additional scenes in January.
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 instalments.
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 instalment 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’.
Heartthrob: Walker was a child model and the face of Davidoff Cool Water, appearing in print commercials for the brand
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.
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
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’
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.’