Paul Walker, a prominent film actor best known for his role as “Brian” in the Fast and Furious movies, died in a highly-publicized car accident on November 30th. At this point, investigators have determined that speed and human error were the likely causes of the fiery crash.
Walker was killed Saturday when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by his friend, Roger Rodas collided with a tree in Santa Clarita, California at a high rate of speed. Rodas was a former professional racecar driver and both men were part of the “Always Evolving” (AE) racing team. Investigators have determined that the Porsche was exceeding 90mpg on city streets just moments before its driver lost control and crashed.
Investigators confirmed the wreck was caused by high speeds, but also announced there was no possibility that the pair had been racing against another vehicle, as early rumors had suggested. “The race theory is total crap,” argued a source closely associated with Walker’s AE race team.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s office released a statement on Monday refuting a report that someone called in to say they’d seen the Porsche drag racing and made a point of quieting the rumors about the “Fast and Furious” star having died in a drag race. The statement read:
“[We have] received eyewitness statements that the car involved was traveling alone at a high rate of speed. No eyewitness has contacted [us] to say there was a second vehicle.”
There was also preliminary information that the Porsche may have malfunctioned shortly before thecrash, which left the vehicle and its passengers charred beyond recognition. Both occupants’ bodies were so badly disfigured that the Los Angeles County medical examiner was forced to put the initial examination on hold while dental records were ordered for identity verification.
The AE race team source/spokesperson told members of the media:
“If I had to guess, I’d say [Roger] put his foot into it just to feel the power a little bit, and the car did something unnatural. It was a nervous, twitchy car, and I really believe Roger’s last thought was: “What just happened?’”
The Porsche had a special racing clutch and a carbon fiber tub. Rodas had purchased the car this summer but had not yet experimented with the car’s performance on a test track yet, the source also noted. One of the men’s friends who arrived on the scene just a few minutes after the crash attempted to brave the flames in an effort to pull the men out. The man could have endangered his own life and emergency responders had to restrain him, as nothing could be done at that point to prevent loss of life.
Walker had returned to his lead role in the Fast and Furious sequels, as filming was set to resume this week on the seventh iteration of the “Fast & Furious” saga. Walker had already finished filming several scenes, but heavy rewrites are likely as producers will be forced to compensate for his absence in the remaining scenes.