Officials: Walker crash not part of street race

 
 
walker
walker

LOS ANGELES (AP) – While the neighborhood where “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker died in a fiery crash is known to attract street racers, law enforcement officials do not believe the Porsche he and a friend were riding in had been racing another car.

Accident investigators “have received eyewitness statements that the car involved was traveling alone at a high rate of speed,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Monday. “No eyewitness has contacted the (department) to say there was a second vehicle.”

Walker and his friend and fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas died Saturday when Rodas' 2005 Porsche Carrera GT smashed into a light pole and tree, then exploded in flames. The posted limit was 45 mph.

The two had taken what was expected to be a brief drive away from a charity fundraiser and toy drive at Rodas' custom car shop in Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Walker's publicist said the action star was the passenger.

The crash happened on a street that forms an approximately 1-mile loop amid industrial office parks. It is rimmed by hills and relatively isolated from traffic, especially on weekends when the businesses are closed.

“It's well-known out here that that's a hot spot for street racers,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Miler said.

Skid marks are a testament to past antics on the loop. The sheriff's department, which polices the neighborhood, said Saturday's wreck was not the first speed-related crash there, but would not reveal specifics.

Meanwhile, investigators are consulting video from security cameras, talking to witnesses and analyzing physical evidence such as on-board computer data from the Porsche.

A steady stream of fans has flocked to the crash site to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia from the action films.

On Monday night, a private memorial for survivors and the cast and crew of the “Fast & Furious” movies was held inside a white tent erected around the crash site. When it was over, Walker's co-star Vin Diesel emerged to thank fans for paying their respect to the actor.

“Thank you for coming and showing that angel up in heaven how much you appreciated him,” Diesel said to the crowd, using the bullhorn of a police cruiser.

Officials have not named either person found in the car. The bodies were so badly burned by the fire that engulfed the wreck that dental records will be needed to confirm their identities.

Walker and Rodas had bonded over their shared love of fast cars.

Rodas, 38, and Walker, 40, co-owned an auto racing team named after Rodas' shop, Always Evolving. Rodas was a financial adviser as well as a professional driver who competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races in 2013. He finished second in rookie of the year standings, circuit spokesman Dave Drimmie said.

Walker starred in all but one of the six “Fast & Furious” blockbusters. He had been on break from shooting the latest installment; Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with “Fast & Furious 7,” currently slated for a July release.

–––

Follow Justin Pritchard at https://twitter.com/lalanewsman

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Premios Tu Mundo

    Fans pick their favorites for Premios Tu Mundo

    The fans had all the power, and their wise choices were celebrated at Telemundo’s third annual Premios Tu Mundo awards, held Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena in downtown Miami.

  • At the movies

    Chloe Grace Moretz: She’s got staying power

    Chloe Grace Moretz is spending a lot of time pondering life’s transitions. At 17, she’s wondering about that awkward leap to more-adult roles. For every Emma Watson, gracefully continuing her career into her 20s, there are five Amanda Bynes, and Moretz knows that.

  • Celebrity birthdays on Aug 22

    Actress Valerie Harper is 75. Actress Cindy Williams is 67. Rock musician Vernon Reid is 56. Actress Regina Taylor is 54. Rock singer Roland Orzabal (Tears for Fears) is 53. Singer Tori Amos is 51. Actor Ty Burrell is 47. Actress Melinda Page Hamilton (“Devious Maids”) is 43. Singer Howie Dorough (Backstreet Boys) is 41. Comedian-actress Kristen Wiig is 41. Actor Brandon Adams is 35. Actress Aya Sumika is 34. .

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category