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Speed contributed to actor Paul Walker's death

Fans come out to pay tribute to star after crash claimed two on Saturday

Posted: December 1, 2013 10:42 a.m.
Updated: December 1, 2013 10:42 a.m.

Cristina Barajas, left, and Luis Angon of Van Nuys take photos Sunday morning of the scene where actor Paul Walker and another person died in a car crash Saturday.

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At midnight Sunday morning, hours after the death of actor Paul Walker made worldwide news, people came to the accident site on Hercules Street in Valencia where the “Fast and the Furious” star and another man died in a fiery one-car accident.

A toppled concrete light pole was on the ground with a speed limit sign, indicating 45 MPH, still bolted to it.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s officials could not confirm it was Walker who died in the accident.

Friends of Walker’s did tell The Signal Saturday and his publicist followed that up with a confirmation.

But a Sheriff’s official did confirm speed played a role in the deadly one-car accident.

“We don’t know much about the cause of the collision other than that we know speed was at least a contributing factor,” said Sgt. Brian Allen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Allen said when Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene, the car — a red Porsche — was fully engulfed in flames and after firefighter personnel extinguished the fire they saw two deceased people in the vehicle.

The identity of the other man in the vehicle, who was said by witnesses and friends to have been the driver, wasn’t known Sunday morning by Sheriff’s officials.

Yet a neighbor of the deceased person, who requested to remain anonymous, said it was Roger Rodas.

Rodas owns Valencia-based Always Evolving, a high-performance vehicle shop located a block away from the accident.

He is also listed on the company's website as a race car driver known for racing Porsche Cup Cars.

Always Evolving held a charitable function on Saturday to gather toys for children in the Philippines, three weeks after a typhoon killed more than 5,500 people.

Friends of Rodas and Walker told The Signal that the two had a business relationship and Walker, who founded the disaster-relief charity "Reach Out Worldwide," was at the business to lend his support.

People who were at the event told The Signal Rodas and Walker went for a quick ride in the Porsche.

“We all heard from our location (the accident),” said Antonio Holmes, who said he was a friend of Walker. “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.”

The accident took place at approximately 3:30 p.m, according to Allen.

A video of the immediate aftermath of the crash was on Facebook this weekend and showed the car in flames.

The video was 56 seconds long and showed the car stopped with fire shooting from the rear with one person saying to stay away because the car may explode.

A woman’s voice can be heard on the video saying, “Oh my God, there’s a guy in there.”

Photographs of Walker were taken Saturday showing the vehicle was a Porsche Carrera GT.

According to Allen, the car skimmed a tree then took out a concrete post and finally shattered another tree before coming to rest.

A faint skid mark could be seen just feet away from where the car burned.

Fans of Walker left candles, flowers and a small Christmas tree at the scene of the crash late Saturday night and into Sunday.

By midnight, the car had been removed and people were picking through the remains.

Next to the light pole was a downed tree and a car length’s away was a charred tree.

Santa Clarita Valley resident Jorge Villeda and his brother Victor Gonzalez paid their respects at midnight.

Both were distraught and fans of Walker.

“I wanted to see because I couldn’t believe it. This is impossible” said Villeda. “Ever since the first (“Fast and the Furious”) movie, he’s the reason why I wanted to see the movies.

The 40-year-old actor from Glendale was most recently filming "Fast & Furious 7."

Central to the movies are car culture and street racing.


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