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Coroner: Paul Walker killed by trauma and fire

Traumatic injuries from Saturday's crash killed Valencia businessman Roger Rodas, coroner says

Posted: December 4, 2013 10:09 a.m.
Updated: December 4, 2013 6:40 p.m.

“Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker was killed by both crash trauma and fire when the Porsche in which he was a passenger slammed into a light standard and at least one tree Saturday, then exploded into flames.

Killed by crash trauma alone was Valencia businessman Roger Rodas, who was driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT when the high-performance car apparently went out of control on a curve at Kelly Johnson Parkway and Hercules Street near the Rye Canyon Business Park.

Results of autopsies on both bodies were released by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office Wednesday, confirming both men’s identities and where they were sitting in the car during the crash.

The two were friends, linked by their love of fast cars. Walker starred in all but one of the “Fast & Furious” series of mega-hits, while Rodas owned a business specializing in high-performance cars.

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Department investigators have said speed was involved in the crash, though the exact speed they believe the Porsche was traveling has not been released.

The duo had been at a fundraiser for Philippine typhoon victims held at Rodas’ performance automobile shop, Always Evolving, when they decided to take a ride in the Porsche, according to friends.

The crash site is on a 1-mile loop near the Rye Canyon Business Park, an area some say is frequented by racers. Sheriff’s Department investigators have said speed was a factor in the crash near the curve where Kelly Johnson Parkway turns into Hercules Street. But details of the ongoing investigation have not been released.

Toxicology results from the autopsies on the bodies of Rodas and Walker also have not been released. Final autopsy reports will not be available until toxicology information is in, coroner’s officials said, which could take six to eight weeks.

Walker starred in all but one of the six “Fast & Furious” blockbuster films that glorified fast cars and dangerous driving. The site where his car crashed has drawn hundreds of fans each day since the day after the crash, and a makeshift memorial has grown at the site and sprawled in the street.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s officials said they will begin Wednesday warning fans not to park along the streets that form the loop, all of which is marked “no parking.” By Thursday they will begin issuing tickets.

Meanwhile, Universal Pictures announced that it has shut down production for an unspecified time on “Fast & Furious 7.”

The seventh installment of the street racings series started shooting in September and was on break for the Thanksgiving holiday when the fatal crash occurred.



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