Coroner: Car carrying Paul Walker going 100-plus mph
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — 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 asstar 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 car.
The actor’s body was badly burned “and in a pugilistic stance. His right wrist was fracturedand 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.
By Alan Duke, CNN
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