- Paul Walker was the passenger in the car which spun out of control and hit a pole and tree
- The 40-year-old starred in five of the six 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 to drive
- The fundraiser to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan was taking place in a race car shop near to the crash scene
- Guests rushed to the scene to put the flames out with fire extinguishers but the fireball had already engulfed the car
- Walker was the father of daughter, Meadow, 15, who recently moved to California to be closer to him
- Alleged driver of the car that killed Paul Walker has been identified as former race car driver Roger Rodas
Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role in the Fast & Furious action movies, has died in a car crash after his friend lost control of a Porsche GT which smashed into a pole and a tree. The high-powered super-car allegedly being driven by Roger Rodas burst into flames after it crashed in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, at 3:30pm, yesterday.
Walker, 40, who was 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 out for a drive with his friend.
The fundraiser, to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan, was taking place in a race car shop near to the scene of the crash. Guests rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fireball had already engulfed the car.
The star’s representatives and official Facebook page confirmed his death. The alleged driver of the car that was involved in a crash that killed Paul Walker has been identified as former race car driver Roger Rodas, according to a Santa Clarita radio station with sources close to the situation.
Roger was the CEO of the company Always Evolving, a car customisation shop and was Walker’s business partner. The 38-year-old was originally from California and in his day job he was a financial adviser. The LA County Sheriff’s department said two people died but is yet to release names.
However 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 organisation 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.’
Walker, who leaves behind a 15-year-old daughter, was an investor in the Always Evolving car shop in Valencia, California. While at the event, Walker and Mr 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 to positively identify. 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. Friends 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 was nothing. ‘They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried.’