In a high-speed car crash, actor Paul Walker — well known for his role in “The Fast and the Furious” film franchise — died at age 40 Saturday.
Walker was at a holiday toy drive for his charity when he and his friend Roger Rodas, an owner of a high-performance car shop, decided to take a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT for a joy ride with Rodas behind the wheel.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, speed was a factor in the car crash. The Porsche slammed into a light pole and caught fire.
The autopsy report released Wednesday stated Walker died of a combination of multiple traumatic injuries and thermal injuries seconds after the car ignited while Rodas died of multiple traumatic injuries.
Though toxicology reports will take several more weeks, authorities have ruled the crash accidental.
Walker’s first major role was in the 1999 film “Varsity Blues,” but his career really began with the 2001 movie “The Fast and the Furious.” In the film, he portrayed an undercover cop, Brian O’Conner, assigned to infiltrate a street-racing gang.
Walker went on to star in all but one of the “The Fast and the Furious” sequels. His co-star from the film, Vin Diesel, told fellow mourners Walker was an “angel up in heaven.”
Both Walker and Diesel were in the process of filming the seventh movie in the franchise, which was due out next year. Universal Pictures, the studio producing the “The Fast and the Furious 7,” has put the movie on hiatus.
Representatives of the studio said they are focused on providing support in the wake of Walkers’ death and are assessing all options for the future of the film. Walker had been scheduled to film for the movie this Monday.
Information gathered from CNN.com, USAToday.com and the LATimes.com ◼︎