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UPDATE: Actor Paul Walker killed in Valencia car crash

Posted: November 30, 2013 4:33 p.m.
Updated: November 30, 2013 7:04 p.m.

Firefighters spray water on the wreckage of a Porsche sports car that crashed into a light standard on Hercules Street in the Rye Canyon Industrial Park in Valencia on Saturday. Signal photo by Dan Watson

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Two people were killed Saturday afternoon when a Porsche sports car crashed and burst into flames in Valencia, and the passenger was actor Paul Walker, his publicist confirmed to the Associated Press

“Sadly I have to confirm that Paul Walker did pass away this afternoon,” said Ame Van Iden, Walker’s publicist.

The single-car crash occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Hercules Street near Constellation Road in the Rye Canyon Business Park, fire officials said.

The red Porsche was reduced to unrecognizable twisted metal in the single-car crash.

Sheriff’s Department officials did not confirm that the actor was killed in the crash, saying the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office would determine the victims’ identities and causes of death. The coroner’s office could not be reached for comment late Saturday.

Spectators gathered at the scene, and several said the passenger was the star of “The Fast and the Furious” series of films. One witness at the scene said he tried to put the fire out and recognized Walker inside the vehicle.

“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,” said Antonio Holmes, who said he was a friend of Walker.

“We all heard from our location (the accident). It’s a little difficult to know what it was. Someone called it in and said it was a vehicle fire.

“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. We went through fire extinguishers.”

Walker, 40, is said to have business ties to Always Evolving Performance Motors, located down Constellation Road from the scene of the crash. Always Evolving hosted a toy drive and car meet on Saturday.

Holmes said Walker was at the event supporting the cause, and the driver of the vehicle also had ties to the business.

Another witness said he saw Walker and the driver leave Always Evolving Performance Motors minutes before the crash.

“When we saw Paul and Roger leave, Paul was the passenger in the vehicle. They both were experienced drivers.

This was just a tragic accident that happened on a joyride,” said Jim Torp of Santa Clarita.

“At the conclusion of the accident the vehicle struck a light standard and the whole car was burned,” a Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesman said. The two occupants of the vehicle were unable to get out in time, he said.

A sheriff’s deputy at the scene said the Porsche driver appeared to have lost control of the car, which hit a tree.

Both a tree and a light standard were downed at the scene.

Spectators gathered at the crash site as the afternoon darkened into evening, held back from going too close by yellow caution tape.

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