Saturday, November 30, 2013
Actor Paul Walker, best known for his role in the "Fast & Furious" franchise, died Saturday afternoon in a single-car accident in Southern California, according to multiple outlets, including TMZ and Us Magazine. He was 40 years old.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station confirmed that their were two fatalities at the scene, according to Us Magazine. When authorities arrived at approximately 3:30 p.m., the car was engulfed in flames. The Los Angeles County Fire Department then extinguished the flames and pronounced the two victims dead at the scene. The accident is still under investigation.
In a statement released on Walker's official Facebook page, the news was also confirmed. "It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide," the statement read. "He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. -#TeamPW."
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow Rain.
For more information, click HERE and HERE.
To see a list of celebrities' reactions to the news, click HERE.
UPDATE: Walker was leaving a charity car show in support of Philippine typhoon victims in Santa Clarita, Calif., at the time of the crash, according to People. The event was held by his non-profit organization, Reach Out Worldwide, and Always Evolving, a Valencia, Calif.-based automotive company.
As the event came to a close, Walker got into a Porsche Carrera GT, which belonged to friend and Always Evolving owner Roger Rodas. The owner was said to be behind the wheel, said Jim Torp, an attendee at the event, and People.
The driver eventually lost control of the vehicle and slammed into a tree, according to Us Magazine. Identification of the two victims' bodies and an investigation of the accident is still ongoing.
UPDATE #2: Team PW, including Paul Walker's publicist Ame Van Iden of PMK BNC and social media manager LaQuishe Wright of QSM, posted a statement on Paul Walker's official Facebook page saying that Walker's daughter, Meadow, was not at the charity event and did not witness the accident. The team also said that Meadow does not currently have any social media accounts and that any accounts that claim to be monitored by her are "fake."
"We ask that her privacy be respected at this time," the statement concluded.
UPDATE #3: The official cause of Walker's death was due to the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries, according to The Los Angeles County coroner's office and E! Online. Rodas, 38, the driver and owner of the car, died of multiple traumatic injuries.
The deaths were ruled as accidental, with toxicology reports still in progress, according to E! Online.
The seventh film of the "Fast & Furious" franchise, which was in the midst of filming at the time of Walker's death, has been postponed until further notice. Funeral arrangements for Walker and Rodas have yet to be made public.
UPDATE #4: Universal Pictures has announced that a percentage of the proceeds from the "Fast & Furious 6" DVD, due for release Dec. 10, will be donated to Paul Walker's non-profit charity, Reach Out Worldwide, according to Variety.
"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,” said Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Pictures, in the statement. “We keep Paul’s memory alive and honor his legacy through continued support of Reach Out WorldWide, the non-profit he founded to give hope to those who must rebuild after they have experienced natural disasters."
UPDATE #5: A complete autopsy report has been released by the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, detailing the extent of Walker and Rodas' injuries. Walker's body was burned beyond recognition and Rodas had suffered major head trauma as a result of the crash, according to TMZ. The report also states that Walker's body was burned so badly that none of his organs were suitable for donation. The car Walker and Rodas were driving in, a Porsche Carrera GT, was traveling at 100 mph at the time of the crash, according to E! Online.
UPDATE #6: The filmmakers behind the upcoming "Fast & Furious" film have decided to retire Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, in the latest installment of the franchise, according to Movie Pilot. For more information, click HERE.
Photo courtesy of Us Magazine
Correction: An earlier version of the report stated that Walker was driving around in his new Porsche at the time of the crash and that it wasn't clear who the driver was at the time, information that was sourced from TMZ. After an update was posted on Walker's official Facebook page clarifying the information, this report was updated with the correct information. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Correction #2: An earlier version of the report stated that Meadow was at the charity event that Walker attended before the accident. After an update was posted on Walker's official Facebook page clarifying the information, this report was updated with the correct information. I, once again, apologize for any confusion this may have caused.