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UPDATE: Car in Paul Walker crash may have been going 100 mph

Posted: January 3, 2014 11:31 a.m.
Updated: January 3, 2014 6:08 p.m.

Firefighters stand near the wreckage of a Porsche that hit a light pole and burned in Valencia Nov. 30, killing Paul Walker and Roger Rodas. Signal photo by Dan Watson

The Porsche carrying “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker may have been going 100 mph or more before it crashed Nov. 30 in Valencia, killing both Walker and the driver, Santa Clarita Valley businessman Roger Rodas, according to a coroner’s report released Friday.

Rodas, Walker’s friend and financial adviser, was driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT at an unsafe speed, the report said; witnesses interviewed by deputies estimated it was going 100 mph or more before the fiery crash on Hercules Street near Kelly Johnson Parkway in the Rye Canyon Business Park.

No alcohol or drugs were detected in the systems of either man on the day of the single-car crash.

The Nov. 30 deaths were ruled accidents and were due to combined traumatic and thermal injuries, according to an earlier coroner’s report. Both men were burned over 100 percent of their bodies.

Rodas had fourth-degree burns on his head and neck and severe skull fractures, the latest report said.

Walker had broken bones throughout his body including his jaw, arm, ribs and pelvis, it said.

According to the report, the Porsche was traveling eastbound on Hercules Street when, for unknown reasons, the driver of the vehicle lost control.

The Porsche spun around and began traveling in a southeast direction, striking a sidewalk and a tree before crashing into a light post.

The force of those impacts caused the car to spin 180 degrees. The car continued moving in an easterly direction before striking a tree and bursting into flames.

The impact of the collision was so great that it totaled the car, almost splitting it in half, according to the report.

Investigators found no mechanical problems with the Porsche or debris or other problems on the roadway at the scene of the crash.

“There are no charges pending and there are no signs of foul play,” the report reads.

The Sheriff’s Department had previously cited speed as a factor in the crash but had released no estimate of how fast the Porsche was going.

Sheriff’s investigators are working with Porsche officials and the California Highway Patrol to determine the speed more exactly. Three data recorders survived the crash and fire and may produce information to pinpoint the speed.

Rodas, 38, and Walker, 40, co-owned an auto racing team. Rodas also was a professional driver who competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races last year. He owned a high-performance vehicle shop near the crash site.

The accident occurred while Walker was on a break after shooting about half of “Fast & Furious 7,” whose release Universal Pictures has now delayed for almost a year to April 2015.

Walker still will appear in the film, though Universal has not said exactly how it will handle his unfinished performance.


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