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Walker died of injuries, burns 'within seconds,' coroner says

By Richard Winton

Los Angeles Times

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:58 p.m. HST, Dec 04, 2013


LOS ANGELES » "Fast and Furious" star Paul Walker died from a combination of traumatic injuries and burns after the Porsche he was riding in crashed and erupted in flames, according to autopsy results released today by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office.

The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT was driven by Roger Rodas, who was dead from "multiple traumatic injuries" before the car exploded in flames, the autopsy said.

Coroner Ed Winter said the men died "within seconds" of the crash. More details will be available when the final autopsy is released, Winter said.

The deaths have been ruled an accident, with the injuries occurring as the result of "auto versus fixed object." Although witnesses confirmed that Rodas and Walker were in the car, the men were positively identified through dental records.

They were killed about 3:30 p.m. Saturday when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a pole and several trees on Hercules Street in Santa Clarita.

Toxicology results will not be available for six to eight weeks.

Detectives have not determined what caused the crash, but a preliminary investigation indicates speed was a factor, Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said.

Just how fast the car was moving is to be determined. The speed limit on the street is 45 mph.

Friends have told authorities the high-performance Porsche was not street racing at the time, and L.A. County sheriff's officials say eyewitnesses did not see a second car.

Walker starred in all but one of the six "Fast & Furious" blockbuster films that glorified fast cars and dangerous driving.

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.

The limited-production, 2005 Porsche Carrera GT has a history of being difficult to control.

The sports car is capable of reaching 100 mph in less than seven seconds. It was built without the stability management system that most Porsche models are equipped with.

Jeremy Clarkson, co-host of BBC's "Top Gear" television show, said during his review of the car: "You need to be awake to drive this fast. It really isn't an easy car to control. The clutch is brutal, the power is savage and the handling ... you really are on a knife edge. But if you put in the effort boy, oh boy do you get the rewards.

"It is a phenomena — mind-blowingly good. Make a mistake, it bites your head off."

___

The Associated Press contributed to this story.






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