Thousands Pay Respects to Actor Paul Walker and Roger Rodas
Photos By Austin Dave
[Story: KHTS, Perry Smith] – Paul Walker, of “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, was a passenger in a single-car crash Saturday in Santa Clarita that killed two people, including Walker.
Deputies with the Traffic Unit of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station responded to the collision in the 28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop Road at approximately 3:30 p.m.
The vehicle, a red Porsche, was traveling eastbound, just west of Constellation Road in the industrial park when the driver lost control, apparently at a high rate of speed, said Sgt. Brian Allen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
The Porsche struck a tree and burst into flames.
Speed was possibly a factor in the crash, said Allen, who was first on the scene. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
“We just know that the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed,” Allen said. “Between the skid marks and the damage to the vehicle, it appears as though the vehicle was traveling at a very significant rate of speed.”
A man who worked for one of two Valencia-based companies owned by the movie star said Walker was in the car with Roger Rodas, CEO of Always Evolving, a performance shop for high-end vehicles.
The employee asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to give a statement.
Walker was in the Santa Clarita Valley to promote a charity giveaway for his nonprofit, Reach Out Worldwide.
“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,” read a statement on his Facebook page. “He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives.”
The Porsche was fully engulfed when Allen arrived on scene. There were individuals who were trying to put out the flames with hand-held fire extinguishers, but the fire was too intense, Allen said.
“With a fire like that, that’s just not going to happen,” Allen said. “The heat is just too much.”
Both occupants were declared dead at the scene by emergency personnel with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Officials were not confirming reports of the driver’s or passenger’s identity Saturday, instead referring inquiries to the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Walker owns two businesses in Valencia, Always Evolving and Hybrid Haven.
The crash took place near the offices for the two businesses.
“All that we know is that there were two fatalities,” said Deputy Alvarez of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. “The investigation is being handled by the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station’s traffic detail.”