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‘Fast and Furious’ actor Paul Walker dies in car crash

Actor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise “Fast & Furious,” died in a car crash in Southern California.

He was 40.

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The Porsche carrying “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker was speeding at more than 100 miles per hour when it crashed in November, killing the actor and a friend, according to the final coroner’s report on the deaths.

The 15-page report released Friday by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office answered several questions that had been the subject of speculation about how Walker and racing team partner Roger Rodas died.

The two men apparently did not live long after the high-performance 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, which was traveling at “approximately 100+ mph,” slammed into a light post and tree and burst into flames, the report said.

Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise “Fast & Furious,” was in the passenger seat of the car driven by Rodas, his racing team partner.

Walker and Rodas left a charity event at a car shop co-owned by the men to take a ride in an office park in the community of Valencia in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood. The crash happened a few hundred yards away on a wide street.

“For unknown reasons, the driver lost control of the vehicle, and the vehicle partially spun around, and began to travel in a southeast direction,” the coroner’s report said. “The vehicle then struck a sidewalk and the driver’s side of the vehicle struck a tree and then a light post. The force of those collisions caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees, and it continued to travel in an easterly direction. The passenger side of the vehicle then struck a tree and the vehicle burst into flames.”

Video obtained by CNN from a security camera posted on a building on the opposite side of the street from the crash suggests that the fire that engulfed the Porsche did not erupt until about a minute after the car crashed.

In the video, which does not show the car, black smoke is seen rising from the crash scene 60 seconds after the light pole and a tree fall. Smoke is faintly visible above the scene after one minute, followed by a heavy plume of black smoke after two minutes.

The autopsy revealed “scant soot” in Walker’s trachea, suggesting his life ended before the smoke and fire engulfed the caar.

The actor’s body was badly burned “and in a pugilistic stance. His right wrist was fractured and his left arm was fractured,” the report said. Rodas was also described as in “a pugilistic” — or defensive — position.

Walker suffered fractures of his left jawbone, collarbone, pelvis, ribs and spine, the report said.

Rodas “rapidly died of severe blunt head, neck and chest trauma,” the report said.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Paul Walker fans came by the thousands Sunday to mourn for the actor at the site where he and a friend died last weekend.

Many of them drove by in souped-up cars fit to be used in Walker’s “Fast & Furious” street race scenes, but others parked blocks away and walked to the business park about 30 miles north of Hollywood where eight days earlier Walker and Roger Rodas died in a fiery car crash.

A Christmas tree now stands where the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT burned after clipping a light pole on the afternoon of November 30. Candles, flowers, signs and other mementos left by fans cover the ground. The miles-long line of cars was allowed to drive slowly by the the normally quiet spot on Hercules Street in Santa Clarita.

paulwalkerTwo small airplanes circled overhead, towing banners: “RIP God be with Fast & Furious star Paul Walker… Our hearts go out to his friends and family. (Heart) #17 Paris Hilton.” It was not clear whether Hilton had sponsored the aerial banners.

The memorial, loosely organized through Facebook pages and Southern California car clubs, was not sanctioned by the families of Walker or Rodas.

A spontaneous memorial began the moment Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies removed the yellow tape around the crash site eight hours after last weekend’s wreck. Fans were already waiting with flowers that piled up and candles that burned on the roadside where Walker and Rodas died.

Every night and day since the crash, fans have gathered and left mementos. Walker’s co-stars joined them at times.

Vin Diesel used a police car’s loudspeaker Tuesday to thank a crowd of mourning fans, calling Walker an “angel up in Heaven.”

Actor-singer Tyrese Gibson broke down sobbing as he laid a yellow flower at the site.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Wednesday said Walker died of “the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.” Speed was a factor in the crash, the sheriff’s office has said.

On the day of the crash, Walker was attending a holiday toy donation event for his charity, Reach Out WorldWide, when he hopped into the car with Rodas for a ride, witnesses said.

The Porsche, which was one of only a few hundred made, was on display at the event, which was held at a high-performance car shop owned by Rodas.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

From the archives: Paul Walker reflects on life, career

Autopsies on Paul Walker and Roger Rodas have corroborated what many people believed: Rodas was the driver in the crash; Walker was the passenger.

Walker died of the “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries,” the Los Angeles county coroner’s office said Wednesday. The determination means the impact and the resulting heat and fire caused his death.

Rodas died of “multiple traumatic injuries,” the coroner’s report said.

The crash was an accident, the coroner’s office said, and toxicology results could take six to eight weeks.

The autopsies were completed Tuesday, but investigators had placed a “security hold” on the results. The coroner’s office did not give a reason for the secrecy.

Production of Walker’s latest movie will be shut down “for a period of time,” the studio said Wednesday.

“At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on ‘Fast & Furious 7’ for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise,” Universal Pictures said in a statement.

Four days after the crash that killed the actor and his financial manager, big questions remain unanswered, including:

Did anything go wrong with the vehicle?

The Porsche Carrera GT the two men were in has three times the horsepower of the average car. It’s powered by a V-10, 610-horsepower engine. At $450,000 new, it flies down the road and is notoriously difficult to handle.

A top driver has called the car “scary,” Autoweek magazine reported.

Rodas was the sixth owner of this one, the magazine said.

Authorities say speed was a factor in the crash. Still, Walker and Rodas were experienced drivers, leading many to question whether something went wrong with the vehicle.

Jim Torp, a car enthusiast who was at the charity event where Rodas and Walker had been just before the crash, said he thought he heard some kind of blast before the car slammed into a light pole. “What the first explosion was — I don’t know if their tire blew up, because it sounded like a tire blew on the car,” Torp told CNN on Monday.

How fast were they going?

The area where the crash took place — a wide business park road in Valencia, California — has a reputation for being popular with drivers who like the thrill of going fast. In recent years, authorities have tried to stop the speeding in the area.

A 45-mph speed limit sign was on the light pole knocked down by the Porsche. A security camera video, which does not show the car itself, suggests that black smoke started to rise from the vehicle about a minute after the light pole and tree fell.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigation is focused on how fast the 2005 vehicle was going.

Skid marks on the asphalt near the crash site, which indicate a car had done doughnut spins, also are being examined, but Torp told CNN that he looked closely at the skid marks and believes they were left by a car with smaller tires.

Was anyone else in danger?

Amid the outpouring of grief for the deaths of Walker and Rodas, many people are also asking whether the ride had endangered pedestrians or other drivers. It took place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Online stories about the crash are filled with comments from readers saying it’s fortunate that no one else was killed or injured.

In 2001, when the first “Fast & Furious” movie was released, Walker talked about the dangers of drag racing. “Nothing would be worse than a 120-mile-an-hour blowout, on a surface street, you know, with pedestrians lining up and down. You know, it’s just common sense, it’s just not worth the risk factor,” he said.

Authorities have ruled out drag racing in this accident, and those who knew Walker and Rodas say they were not the sort of people who would risk their lives and others’ in a race.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

The fire that engulfed the Porsche carrying actor Paul Walker apparently did not erupt until a minute after the car clipped a light pole Saturday.

That conclusion is based on security camera video obtained by CNN that shows black smoke starting to rise from the crash scene 60 seconds after it shows the light pole and a tree falling.

Preliminary findings of the autopsies of the remains of two men — presumed to be Walker and friend Roger Rodas — could be made public Tuesday afternoon, a coroner’s investigator said. The examination of dental X-rays should confirm whether Rodas, as witnesses reported, was behind the wheel with Walker in the passenger seat.

A security camera posted on a building on the opposite side of the street from the crash did not show the Porsche Carerra GT crashing along a business park street in Valencia, California, Saturday afternoon.

It does show the light pole and tree falling. Smoke is faintly visible above the scene 60 seconds later, followed by a heavy plume of black smoke after two minutes.

As investigators searched for more information about the accident that killed the popular “Fast & Furious” actor on Saturday, one of his co-stars dramatically addressed grieving fans.

Using a police car’s loudspeaker, actor Vin Diesel thanked a crowd of mourning fans, calling Walker an “angel up in Heaven.” Every night since the crash fans have gathered and left mementos near the spot on a wide business park road in Valencia, California, about 30 miles north of Hollywood, according to Walker’s publicist and CNN affiliate KCAL.

paul-walkerRodas, owner of a high-performance car shop, is believed to have been driving. Both Rodas and Walker were drivers for Rodas’ Always Evolving racing team, according to the team’s website.

By Tuesday Diesel had posted several pictures of his friend on his Facebook page.

And earlier this week, another co-star, Tyrese Gibson, broke down sobbing as he laid a yellow flower at the site.

“My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real,” the singer and actor posted on Instagram. He also shared the duo’s last text exchange.

Walker’s father, Paul Walker Sr., choked back tears Monday. “His heart was so big,” he told CNN affiliate KCAL. “I was proud of him every day of his life.”

The actor had told his father that he wanted to take a hiatus from acting to spend more time with his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, the elder Walker said. “And then boom, he got another movie. He would say, ‘I don’t know what to do.’”

He said the actor’s siblings are having an especially hard time grappling with the death.

“I’m just … glad that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him,” the father said. “And he would say the same thing to me.”

The Walker family issued a statement expressing thanks for “the outpouring of love and goodwill from his many fans and friends.”

They asked that instead of flowers, people make donations to his charity, Reach Out Worldwide. The actor was at a benefit for the charity just before he died.

“It’s comforting for them to know that the son, brother, and father they love so much is equally adored, respected, and appreciated by so many,” the statement said. “Paul founded the organization with the genuine desire to help others, and it’s important to his family to keep his memory alive through ROWW.”

No memorial service plans have been made, Walker’s publicist has said.

Autopsies on the remains taken from the wreckage were under way Tuesday, according to Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter. The forensic pathologist is using dental X-rays provided by the families of Walker and Rodas to make the official identifications, he said.

While witnesses have said it was Rodas behind the wheel and Walker in the passenger seat, the autopsies are needed to confirm that.

How fast?

Meanwhile a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s probe is focused on the speed of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, the spokesman told CNN.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Cohen told CNN that authorities received a tip Sunday suggesting that another car was at the scene racing the Porsche when it slammed into a light pole and burst into flames.

But investigators have since ruled out the presence of a second vehicle and the theory that the Porsche was drag racing, a spokesman said Monday afternoon.

But speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said. A 45 mph speed limit sign was attached to the light pole knocked down by the Porsche.

The car, which sold for $450,000 when new, is a notoriously difficult vehicle to handle, even for professional drivers, according to Autoweek magazine. A top driver called it “scary,” the magazine reported Sunday. It is powered by a V-10, 610-hp engine.

The wreck took place about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper that he was at the charity event when Walker and Rodas left for a ride in the Porsche.

“We all heard from our location,” Holmes told the Signal. “It’s a little difficult to know what it was. Someone called it in and said it was a vehicle fire. We all ran around and jumped in cars and grabbed fire extinguishers and immediately went to the vehicle. It was engulfed in flames. There was nothing. They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried. We went through fire extinguishers.”

Jim Torp, a car enthusiast who was at the charity event, said Walker was smiling as he got into the Porsche minutes earlier.

Torp thought he heard a blast in the distance before the car slammed into a light pole, he said. “What the first explosion was — I don’t know if their tire blew up, because it sounded like a tire blew on the car,” Torp told CNN Monday.

Skid marks on the asphalt near the crash site, which indicate a car was doing doughnut spins, also are being examined, Cohen said. It’s not uncommon for people to speed down that street, and two years ago deputies tried to crack down on that, he said.

Torp told CNN that he looked closely at the skid marks and concluded they were left by a car with smaller tires.

Remarkable generosity

There are tales of Walker’s incredible generosity.

CNN confirmed one story from a decade ago when Walker noticed a young U.S. soldier shopping with his fiancee for a wedding ring in a Santa Barbara jewelry store.

“The groom was just back from duty in Iraq, and he was going to be deployed again soon and wanted to buy a wedding ring, but he said he just could not afford it,” saleswoman Irene King told CNN. “I don’t think the soldier realized how expensive those rings are, about $10,000.”

The couple apparently did not know who Walker was, King said.

“Walker called the manager over and said, ‘Put that girl’s ring on my tab,’” she said. “Walker left all his billing info, and it was a done deal. The couple was stunned. She was thrilled and could not believe someone did this.”

King called it “the most generous thing I have ever seen.”

The day Walker died he was at a holiday toy drive for Walker’s charity hosted by the store that Rodas owned.

Walker and Rodas had planned Saturday as a day to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The car shop website invited customers to a “Charity Toy Drive & Automotive Social Gathering.”

“During the holiday season, many economically disadvantaged children from around the world are faced with the same dilemma year after year; the lacking of joy and cheer,” the invitation read. “Our goal here is to be able to provide aid to these less fortunate children in hopes of helping them grow up to become confident, responsible and productive young adults.”

Box office success

Walker’s career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as “Highway to Heaven” and “Touched by an Angel.”

His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in “Varsity Blues.” But his career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O’Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001′s “The Fast and the Furious.”

The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts. The six “Fast & Furious” films sold a total of $2.6 billion in tickets worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.

Walker wasn’t just a car enthusiast on the silver screen; off screen, the actor competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series.

On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as an “outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie … and I do some acting on the side.”

Walker also is the star of “Hours,” an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Future of franchise

Walker was in the middle of the seventh film in the “Fast & Furious” franchise. The film was due out next year.

It’s unclear how the movie’s production might proceed. When Oliver Reed died in the middle of the production of “Gladiator,” the rest of his scenes included a digitally produced image of his face on another actor’s body, Tom O’Neil, editor of the show business website Goldderby.com, told CNN.

In some cases, other actors have filled in for co-stars who have passed away.

“We don’t know what they’ll do here, or even if they’ll just say, “It may be tasteless to proceed at all because we can’t be showing Paul Walker in a speeding car, defying death in a movie that ended up being the way he died,’” O’Neil said.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Investigators have been unable to find evidence of a second car in the accident that killed popular “Fast & Furious” actor Paul Walker on Saturday, a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s spokesman said Monday.

The probe now centers on the speed of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Walker’s racing team partner, the spokesman told CNN.

Earlier, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Cohen told CNN that authorities received a tip Sunday suggesting that another car was at the scene racing the Porsche when it slammed into a light pole and burst into flames.

But investigators have since ruled out the presence of a second vehicle and the theory that the Porsche was drag racing, a spokesman said Monday afternoon.

Speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said. A 45 mph speed limit sign was attached to the light pole knocked down by the Porsche.

The car, which sold for $450,000 when new, is a notoriously difficult vehicle to handle, even for professional drivers, according to Autoweek magazine. A top driver called it “scary,” the magazine reported Sunday. It is powered by a V-10, 610-hp engine.

Jim Torp, a car enthusiast who was at the charity event that Walker attended before the wreck, said Walker was smiling as he got into the Porsche minutes earlier.

Torp thought he heard a blast in the distance before the car slammed into a light pole, he said. “What the first explosion was, I don’t know if their tire blew up, because it sounded like a tire blew on the car,” Torp told CNN Monday.

PaulWalkerTire skid marks on the asphalt near the crash site, which indicate a car was doing doughnut spins, also are being looked at, Cohen said. It has not been concluded that they are related to the Walker wreck, he said. The street has a reputation for fast drivers, which spurred a crackdown by deputies two years ago, he said.

Torp told CNN that he looked closely at the skid marks and concluded they were left by a car with smaller tires.

Walker and Roger Rodas, who was believed to be driving, died in the wreck on Hercules Street, a wide business park road, in the community of Valencia inside the city of Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood, according to Walker’s publicist and CNN affiliate KCAL.

The autopsies on the remains taken from the wreckage are scheduled for Tuesday, according to Lt. Fred Corral of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Investigators are still waiting for dental X-rays for each man to help in making the official identifications, Corral said.

Stunned fans, a grieving father

Walker’s family issued a written statement Monday expressing thanks for “the outpouring of love and goodwill from his many fans and friends.”

They asked that instead of flowers, people make donations to his charity Reach Out Worldwide.

“It’s comforting for them to know that the son, brother, and father they love so much is equally adored, respected, and appreciated by so many,” the statement said. “Paul founded the organization with the genuine desire to help others, and it’s important to his family to keep his memory alive through ROWW.”

No memorial service plans have been made, Walker’s publicist said Monday.

Stunned by Walker’s untimely death, fans, friends and family remembered what he meant to them and what he did for them.

His father remembered him as a loving son who wanted to take a hiatus from acting. A fellow actor said he had just celebrated Walker’s 40th birthday. And a U.S. military veteran will forever be grateful for a touching act of generosity.

Day and night since the crash, legions of fans gathered near the charred roadside where Walker died.

Tyrese Gibson, Walker’s co-star in several “Fast & Furious” movies, broke down as he laid a yellow flower at the site.

“My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real,” the singer and actor posted on Instagram. He also shared the duo’s last text exchange.

Paul Walker Sr. choked back tears as he remembered his son.

“His heart was so big,” he told CNN affiliate KCAL. “I was proud of him every day of his life.”

The actor told his father that he wanted to take a hiatus from acting to spend more time with his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, the elder Walker said. “And then boom, he got another movie. He would say, ‘I don’t know what to do.’”

He said the actor’s siblings are having an especially hard time grappling with the death.

“I’m just … glad that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him,” the father said. “And he would say the same thing to me.”

Remarkable generosity

Tales of Walker’s philanthropy are not new. CNN confirmed one story from a decade ago when Walker noticed a young U.S. soldier shopping with his fiancee for a wedding ring in a Santa Barbara jewelry store.

“The groom was just back from duty in Iraq, and he was going to be deployed again soon and wanted to buy a wedding ring, but he said he just could not afford it,” saleswoman Irene King told CNN. “I don’t think the soldier realized how expensive those rings are, about $10,000.”

The couple apparently did not know who Walker was, King said.

“Walker called the manager over and said, ‘Put that girl’s ring on my tab,’” she said. “Walker left all his billing info, and it was a done deal. The couple was stunned. She was thrilled and could not believe someone did this.”

King called it “the most generous thing I have ever seen.”

Future of franchise

At the time of his death, Walker was working on the seventh film of the franchise, due out next year.

It’s unclear how the film’s production might proceed. When Oliver Reed died in the middle of the production of “Gladiator,” the rest of his scenes included a digitally produced image of his face on another actor’s body, Tom O’Neil, editor of the show business website Goldderby.com, told CNN.

In some cases, other actors have filled in for co-stars who have passed away.

“We don’t know what they’ll do here, or even if they’ll just say, “It may be tasteless to proceed at all because we can’t be showing Paul Walker in a speeding car, defying death in a movie that ended up being the way he died,’” O’Neil said.

Questionable speed

The wreck took place about 3:30 p.m. Saturday just a few hundred yards from the shop owned by Rodas. Both men had attended a holiday toy drive for Walker’s charity hosted at the shop that afternoon.

Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper that he was at the charity event when Walker and Rodas left for a ride in the Porsche.

“We all heard from our location,” Holmes told the Signal. “It’s a little difficult to know what it was. Someone called it in and said it was a vehicle fire. We all ran around and jumped in cars and grabbed fire extinguishers and immediately went to the vehicle. It was engulfed in flames. There was nothing. They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried. We went through fire extinguishers.”

A crowd of grieving fans, curious onlookers and media surrounded the crash site for hours, watching as investigators and firefighters worked to extract the bodies from the wreckage.

Walker and Rodas had planned Saturday as a day to help survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The car shop website invited customers to a “Charity Toy Drive & Automotive Social Gathering.”

“During the holiday season, many economically disadvantaged children from around the world are faced with the same dilemma year after year; the lacking of joy and cheer,” the invitation read. “Our goal here is to be able to provide aid to these less fortunate children in hopes of helping them grow up to become confident, responsible and productive young adults.”

Walker’s charity is described as “a network of professionals with first responder skill-sets who augment local expertise when natural disasters strike in order to accelerate relief efforts.”

Box office success

Walker’s career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as “Highway to Heaven” and “Touched by an Angel.”

His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in “Varsity Blues.” But his career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O’Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001′s “The Fast and the Furious.”

The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts. The six “Fast & Furious” films sold a total of $2.6 billion in tickets worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.

Walker wasn’t just a car enthusiast on the silver screen; off screen, the actor competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series.

On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as an “outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie … and I do some acting on the side.”

Walker also is the star of “Hours,” an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Stunned by his untimely death in a car wreck, fans, friends and family remembered actor Paul Walker — what he meant to them and what he did for them.

His father remembered him as a loving son who wanted to take a hiatus from acting. A fellow actor recalled how he had just celebrated Walker’s 40th birthday. And a U.S. military veteran will forever be grateful for a touching act of generosity.

Walker died in a fiery crash in Southern California on Saturday. He was in the passenger seat of a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by a racing team partner, that slammed into a light pole and burst into flames in the community of Valencia, Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood.

The driver, identified by CNN affiliate KCAL-TV as Roger Rodus, also died.

Day and night Sunday, legions of fans gathered near the charred roadside where Walker died.

Tyrese Gibson, Walker’s co-star in several “Fast & Furious” movies, broke down as he laid a yellow flower at the site.

“My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real,” the singer and actor posted on Instagram. He also shared the duo’s last text exchange.

Remarkable generosity

Tales of Walker’s philanthropy are not new. CNN confirmed one story from a decade ago when Walker noticed a young U.S. soldier shopping with his fiancee for a wedding ring in a Santa Barbara jewelry store.

“The groom was just back from duty in Iraq, and he was going to be deployed again soon and wanted to buy a wedding ring, but he said he just could not afford it,” saleswoman Irene King told CNN. “I don’t think the soldier realized how expensive those rings are, about $10,000.”

The couple apparently did not know who Walker was, King said.

“Walker called the manager over and said, ‘Put that girl’s ring on my tab,’ ” she said. “Walker left all his billing info, and it was a done deal. The couple was stunned. She was thrilled and could not believe someone did this.”

King called it “the most generous thing I have ever seen.”

A grieving father

Walker Sr. choked back tears as he remembered his son.

“His heart was so big,” Paul Walker Sr. told CNN affiliate KCAL. “I was proud of him every day of his life.”

The actor told his father that he wanted to take a hiatus from acting to spend more time with his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, Walker Sr. said.

“And then boom, he got another movie. He would say, ‘I don’t know what to do,’” the elder Walker said.

He said the actor’s siblings are having an especially hard time grappling with the death.

“I’m just … glad that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him,” Walker Sr. said. And he would say the same thing to me.”

Future of franchise

At the time of his death, he was working on the seventh film of the franchise, due out next year.

It’s unclear how the film’s production might proceed. When Oliver Reed died mid-production of “Gladiator,” the rest of his scenes included a digitally-produced image of his face on another actor’s body, Tom O’Neil, editor of the show business website Goldderby.com, told CNN.

In some cases, other actors have filled in for co-stars who have passed away.

“We don’t know what they’ll do here, or even if they’ll just say, “It may be tasteless to proceed at all because we can’t be showing Paul Walker in a speeding car, defying death in a movie that ended up being the way he died,’” O’Neil said.

Questionable speed

Los Angeles Coroner Investigator Dana Bee said Sunday it would likely take 48 hours to officially identify the remains taken from the twisted wreckage. The families are gathering dental records for use in the identification, which is necessary because of the condition of the bodies, Bee said.

Speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said. A 45 mph speed limit sign was attached to the light pole knocked down by the Porsche.

The car, which sold for $450,000 when new, is a notoriously difficult vehicle to handle, even for professional drivers, according to Autoweek magazine. A top driver called it “scary,” the magazine reported Sunday. It is powered by a V-10, 610-hp engine.

The wreck took place about 3:30 p.m. just a few hundred yards from the shop owned by Rodus. Both men had attended a holiday toy drive for Walker’s charity, Reach Out Worldwide, hosted at the shop Saturday afternoon.

Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper that he was at the charity event when Walker and Rodus left for a ride in the Porsche.

“We all heard from our location,” Holmes told the Signal. “It’s a little difficult to know what it was. Someone called it in and said it was a vehicle fire. We all ran around and jumped in cars and grabbed fire extinguishers and immediately went to the vehicle. It was engulfed in flames. There was nothing. They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried. We went through fire extinguishers.”

A crowd of grieving fans, curious onlookers and media surrounded the crash site for hours, watching as investigators and firefighters worked to extract the bodies from the wreckage.

Walker and Rodus had planned Saturday as a day to help survivors of victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The car shop website invited customers to the Charity Toy Drive & Automotive Social Gathering.

“During the holiday season, many economically disadvantaged children from around the world are faced with the same dilemma year after year; the lacking of joy and cheer,” the invitation read. “Our goal here is to be able to provide aid to these less fortunate children in hopes of helping them grow up to become confident, responsible and productive young adults.”

Walker’s charity is described as “a network of professionals with first responder skill-sets who augment local expertise when natural disasters strike in order to accelerate relief efforts.”

Box office success

Walker’s career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as “Highway to Heaven” and “Touched by an Angel.”

His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in “Varsity Blues.” But his career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O’Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001’s “The Fast and the Furious.”

The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts.

Walker wasn’t just a car enthusiast on the silver screen; offscreen, the actor competed in the Redline Time Attack racing series.

On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as an “outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie … and I do some acting on the side.”

Walker also is the star of “Hours,” an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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CaptureActor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise “Fast & Furious,” died Saturday in a car crash in Southern California. He was 40.

Walker’s publicist Ame van Iden confirmed his death, but said she could not elaborate beyond statements posted on Walker’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Walker was a passenger in a friend's 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and both were attending a charity event for his organization, Reach Out Worldwide, in the community of Valencia in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood.

The website for the charity said the Saturday event was intended to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office said.

The wreck took place about 3:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. ET), about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held. The speed limit there is 45 mph.

Up and down the road near the crash site were burned rubber and doughnut marks as though someone smoked their tires in figure 8 patterns.

“I don’t know if the marks in the road are related to the crash,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Brian Allen.

Deputies arrived at the scene to find a vehicle on fire, he said

Once fire crews put the flames out, they found two occupants, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the red car and a light pole that had been knocked down.

The county coroner said that, given the condition of the bodies, it will take some time to definitively identify them.

Box office success

Walker’s career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as “Highway to Heaven” and “Touched By An Angel.”

His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in “Varsity Blues.”

His career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O’Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001′s “The Fast and the Furious.”

The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts.

At the time of his death, he was working on the seventh film of the franchise, due out next year.

Walker wasn’t just a car enthusiast on the silver screen, off-screen, the actor competed in the “Redline Time Attack” racing series.

On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as “outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie … and I do some acting on the side.”

Walker also is the star of “Hours,” an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Twitter and other social media exploded with reactions to Walker’s death.

“Completely numb and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Paul Walker,” wrote one.

Hollywood condolences came from Will Smith, Jack Osbourne, DMX and others.

“No, @RealPaulWalker. No. No. No,” tweeted actress Alyssa Milano. Walker guest-appeared with her in the 80s comedy, “Who’s The Boss?” “Rest with the angels. You. Sweet boy. #beauty #love #RIP.”

He is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.

TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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