'Fast and Furious' Actor Didn't Die Instantly

Coroner reports that Paul Walker wasn't as lucky as driver Roger Rodas, who was dead before being engulfed in flames in their crashed Porsche Carrera GT.

A coroner ruled that actor Paul Walker died from a combination of traumatic injuries and fire. Photo/IMDB
A coroner ruled that actor Paul Walker died from a combination of traumatic injuries and fire. Photo/IMDB

By City News Service

"Fast and Furious" actor Paul Walker, who was killed along with friend Roger Rodas in the fiery crash of a Porsche Carrera in Valencia, died from a combination of injuries suffered in the impact and burns from the resulting inferno that engulfed the vehicle, the coroner's office announced today.

Autopsies also confirmed that Walker, 40, was a passenger in the vehicle.

According to the coroner's office, Rodas, 38, was driving the car, and his cause of death was listed as "multiple traumatic injuries." Walker's cause of death was listed as "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries."

The autopsies were performed Tuesday, and both deaths have been ruled to be accidents, according to the coroner's office. The results of toxicology tests are pending, and were expected to take six to eight weeks. Positive identifications were made with the use of dental records.

The red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT -- a car that sells for more than $400,000 -- slammed into a tree around 3:30 p.m. Saturday on Hercules Street at Kelly Johnson Parkway.

Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said speed was a factor in the crash, but there was no evidence the pair was involved in a street race. Investigators were still trying to determine exactly what caused the crash and whether there was a mechanical reason for Rodas to have lost control of the vehicle.

Walker and Rodas had just attended a charity car show and toy drive organized by the actor's Reach Out WorldWide organization when they got into the 600-horsepower Porsche and left —the crash occurring a short time later. The crash occurred near Always Evolving Performance Motors, an auto shop owned by Rodas.

Universal Pictures announced that a portion of proceeds from upcoming sales of the "Fast & Furious 6" DVD will be donated to Reach Out WorldWide, which aids in relief efforts following natural disasters.

"With the passing of Paul, the world has lost a man who spent a great deal of his life in service to others. We share in the deep grief of his family, friends and the countless fans who love him," according to Donna Langley, chair of Universal Pictures. "We keep Paul's memory alive and honor his legacy through continued support of Reach Out WorldWide, the nonprofit he founded to give hope to those who must rebuild after they have experienced natural disasters."

The DVD will be released Dec. 10.

Universal also announced that it had suspended production on "Fast & Furious 7," which was in the midst of filming when the crash occurred. The film had been scheduled for release next year.

Walker's family asked that in lieu of flowers or other gifts, donations also be made to the charity. Information is available online at www.roww.org. A memorial continued to grow at the crash scene.

Walker starred as undercover Los Angeles police detective Brian O'Conner in the 2001 film "The Fast and the Furious" and five of the six sequels, including the most recent "Fast & Furious 6," which was released in May and grossed close $240 million at North American box offices.     

Walker was born in Glendale and appeared as a toddler in a Pampers commercial. He was raised in a traditional Mormon family in Sun Valley and graduated from Village Christian High School in 1991.

His other credits include "Takers," "Varsity Blues," "She's All That," "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Pleasantville" plus numerous TV guest appearances.

Walker appeared in three other films this year besides the "Fast & Furious" sequel and has another film, "Hours," about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, scheduled for release on Dec. 13, according to Variety.

His survivors include his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow Rain.     

"I'm just glad that every time I saw him I told him I loved him, and he would say the same thing to me," Walker's grief-stricken father, Paul, told CBS2.   


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