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Autopsies completed on bodies believed to be Paul Walker, Roger Rodas

New information to be released Wednesday

Posted: December 3, 2013 6:29 p.m.
Updated: December 3, 2013 6:29 p.m.

People continue to gather at the crash site where Paul Walker and Roger Rodas were killed, located at the curve where Kelly Johnson Parkway becomes Hercules St. in Valencia. Caution signs and barricades have been added on the roadway. Photo by Charlie Kaijo.

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The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Tuesday it has completed autopsies on the two bodies recovered from the fiery crash of a Porsche that “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker and his friend, local business owner Roger Rodas, were last seen in last weekend.

The families of both men have provided dental records, which will permit not only formal identification of the bodies, but also official word on whether Walker or Rodas was behind the wheel.

Results of the autopsies and identifications would not be released until Wednesday, the coroner’s office said.
Walker’s publicist has said the actor was the passenger when Rodas’ 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a light standard and tree, then exploded in flames in Valencia Saturday.

Walker, a 1991 graduate of Village Christian School in Sun Valley, starred in all but one of the six “Fast & Furious” blockbusters, films that glorified fast cars and dangerous driving.

He had been on break from shooting the latest installment in the series, and Universal Pictures said Tuesday that production of “Fast & Furious 7” is on hold.

Much of the film has been shot, and it was scheduled for release in July. Universal has not said how it will adjust the movie to account for Walker’s death.

Meanwhile, crowds continue to flock to the accident site in Valencia.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will begin issuing warnings to drivers parking their cars along the road in the Rye Canyon industrial area starting Wednesday, meaning the dozens of visitors to the memorial for Walker and Rodas will have to park elsewhere.

Santa Clarita city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said Tuesday the warnings Wednesday will be followed by citations beginning Thursday.

Much of the area surrounding the crash site, including Hercules Street and Constellation Road, are designated “no parking” zones, Ortiz said.

“We feel that for public safety reasons we need to enforce the ‘no parking’ zone there,” she said.

Though some who work in the area near the crash site around Hercules Street and Kelly Johnson Parkway said speeding can be a problem in the area, Ortiz said the city has heard little of speeding or racing there.

“In the last two years we’ve had one, maybe two reports of speeding and possible racing in that area,” Ortiz said, citing reports made with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

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

“It’s well known out here that that’s a hot spot for street racers,” California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Miler said. “It’s a long stretch where, weekends, businesses are all closed and they feel like nobody’s going to bother them up there.”

Skid marks are a testament to past antics on the loop. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which polices the neighborhood, said Saturday’s wreck was not the first speed-related crash there but would not reveal specifics.

The department is compiling statistics to determine whether the neighborhood has had more incidents or citations than other out-of-the-way areas.

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

Eyewitnesses have said the car “was traveling alone at a high rate of speed,” the Sheriff’s Department said in a written statement. The posted limit was 45 mph.

 

 

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