He was 40 years old and at the peak of his career. Widely recognized as one of the most handsome men in the world of film, he was just filming the 7th part of “Fast and Furious”. On November 30, 2013, Paul Walker and his friend decided to test a sports Porsche. The car hit a tree and burst into flames.
In early November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan passed through the Western Pacific Ocean. The element struck ChinaVietnam, Philippines, Palau and Micronesia. More than 6,300 people died. On the last day of that month, the charity organization Reach Out Worldwide, founded by Paul Walker, organized an auction, the proceeds of which were to be donated to the inhabitants of the devastated regions. The auction took place in Santa Clarita, a suburb of Los Angeles.
At around 3:30 p.m. local time, Walker and his longtime friend, co-founder of the organization Roger Rodas, went for a ride in a Porsche Carrera GT, which was the main attraction of the auction. At some point, Rodas, the driver, lost control of the vehicle. An investigation later revealed that excessive speed was the cause of the loss of control. At the time of the accident, the car was traveling at approximately 160 km/h, which is almost twice the speed limit at the scene of the accident.
The Porsche went off the road, cut down a lamp post, hit a tree and burst into flames. Witnesses reported a “single speeding car” before the accident. One of them, whose words were quoted by FOX News, saw a car with the actor passing by 30 seconds before the accident. As he said, the collision was extremely violent. “The car immediately burst into flames and broke the tree in half,” said the eyewitness. He added that he was unable to do anything because “the flames were too big and spread quickly.” Street cameras recorded a large cloud of black smoke.
Both men traveling in the car died on the spot. Autopsies showed that they were sober at the time of the incident. Walker was buried on December 14, 2013 at Memorial Park Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, one of the districts of Los Angeles. He was 40 years old at the time of his death.
Compensation after Walker’s death
After the accident, Rodas’ family demanded compensation from Porsche. In her lawsuit, the man’s widow alleged that the Carrera GT was missing several important safety features, which allegedly caused both men’s deaths. However, the judge found that the woman was unable to prove that the car manufacturer was to blame for the accident.
In 2016, the court awarded damages to Walker’s daughter, Meadow, then 16. They were paid by Rodas’ heirs. The money – over $10 million – was awarded to the actor’s daughter under a settlement. The court agreed that although Rodas did not perform any dangerous maneuvers, he was partially responsible for the accident. The Los Angeles Times wrote that nearly $3 million of this amount went to legal fees.
Who was Paul Walker?
Born in 1973, Walker began his acting career in commercials, followed by supporting roles in TV series and films. The American broke through in the industry playing teenage hunks. His predispositions were noticed by “People” magazine, which in 2001 placed him on the list of “50 most beautiful people in the world”.
The breakthrough in Walker’s acting career was his appearance in the film “Fast and Furious”, which premiered in 2009. Later, the actor starred in four more sequels. Walker died before filming for “Fast and Furious 7” was completed, in which he played one of the main roles – Brian O’Conner. Although production was halted after his death, the film was finally released after a delay, in 2015. Scenes with the deceased actor were used in it. He also appeared on the big screen in several other hits, including: “Blue Depths”, “The Stalker”, or “Banner of Glory”,
His great love for cars did not end only with movies. He himself had a collection of about 30 cars, some of which he shared as co-owner with his friend Rodas. He also took part in car races. But this is not his only hobby. He was also very interested in marine biology. Before he became an actor, he wanted to study this field. In 2010, he starred in the series “Expedition Great White” on the National Geographic Channel. He spent 11 days catching and marking sharks – great white sharks – off the coast Mexico.
On the set of “Fast and Furious,” Walker became friends with Vin Diesel. The actors were very close to each other. In an interview, Diesel called Walker his “brother.” After the tragic death of his friend, he promised to take care of his family, especially his daughter. In 2021, he even walked her down the aisle.
Main photo source: PAP/DPA