December 2, 2013, LOS ANGELES — Fans of “Fast & Furious 7″ star Paul Walker erected a make shift memorial near the site of his fatal automobile crash, as researchers worked to figure out the cause of the fantastic weekend wreck that also stated the life of his friend.
Roger Roads, Walker’s friend and financial advisor, also died, based to Walker’s publicist, Ame Van Iden. She said Walker was a traveler in the 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT when they drove away from a fundraising event in the group of Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Sheriff’s deputies found the car engulfed in flames when they came at the site of the crash, near the fundraiser at Rodas’ sport car dealership. Officials have not recognized either person found in the car.
Simply because Walker is so closely related with the underground culture of street racing represented in the popular film franchise, the accident had a spooky high quality - a tragic end for a Hollywood hero of speed.
On Sunday, fans of Walker, 40, gathered to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia from the action movies. His “Fast & Furious” co-star Tyrese Gibson broke down when he visited the crash site.
“Paul is the pulse rate of this franchise and we’re gonna see to it that his energy and presence lives on forever,” Gibson later posted on his Instagram account.
Sheriff’s deputy Peter Gomez said researchers were trying to figure out how fast the car was touring and what caused it to go out of control, including whether the driver was diverted or something in the road prompted him to swerve.
After the Porsche damaged into a light pole and tree, it burst into flames. The downed light pole had a speed limit sign of 45 mph.
Walker rode the “Fast & Furious” franchise to fame, starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters, beginning with the first film in 2001. He had been on break from capturing the seventh installment; production began in September and while much of the film has been shot, it’s incomplete.
Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with “Fast & Furious 7,” which presently is slated for release in July.
Walker and Rodas had thrown a fundraiser gaining victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The occasion was held by Reach out Globally, a charity Walker founded in 2010 to aid victims of natural disasters.
The fundraiser and toy drive took place at Rodas’ custom car shop, Always Evolving, in an area of stores and office parks. Rodas, 38, and Walker co-owned an auto racing team. Rodas competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races this year, the racing company said in a declaration.
Attendees rushed to the crash, which was nearby but out of sight, to try to put out the flames with fire extinguishers.
One attendee of the event, Jim Torp, said he heard the loud sound of a car’s engine revving and then a blast. Walker and Rodas planned a quick ride, Torp said.
“The last words Paul said to anybody were, ‘Hey, I’ll be back in five minutes. All right?’ And that was it,” according to Torp.
Torp said Rodas had a young son, whom he tried to stop from operating to the accident scene, but could not catch him in time.
Walker left behind two completed films. He stars in the future Hurricane Katrina drama “Hours,” which Lionsgate’s Pantelion Films is to release Dec. 13. He also stars in “Brick Mansions,” a remake of the French action film “District B13″ that Relativity plans to release next year.
He is live through by his 15-year-old daughter.