Speed was a factor in the crash that killed actor Paul Walker, 40, and former race car driver Roger Rodas, 38, authorities said late Saturday.
Rodas and Walker were in a 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT Saturday afternoon when Rodas lost control of the supercar on a street in an industrial park in Valencia, Calif. The car slammed into a light pole, hit a tree and exploded on impact, just before 3:30 p.m.
Sheriff’s deputies found the car engulfed in flames when they arrived at the site of the crash, near the fundraiser at Mr Rodas’ sports car dealership.
Yesterday 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 heartbeat 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.
He also posted a video of the film cast and crew recently celebrating Walker’s birthday.
Sheriff’s deputy Peter Gomez said investigators are working to discover how fast the car was travelling and what caused it to go out of control, including whether the driver was distracted or something in the road prompted him to swerve.
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 shooting the seventh instalment. Production began in September and while much of the film has been shot, it is incomplete.
Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with the film, which is due for release in July.
Walker and Mr Rodas had thrown a fundraiser for victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines. The event was held by Reach Out Worldwide, a charity Walker founded in 2010 to aid victims of natural disasters.
The event took place at Mr Rodas’ custom car shop, Always Evolving. Mr Rodas, 38, and Walker co-owned an car racing team.
Walker left behind two completed films. He stars in the Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, due for release on December 13.
He is also in Brick Mansions, a remake of the French action film District B13 that is planned for release next year.
His Fast & Furious co-stars reacted in shock the actor’s death. Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: “I am absolutely speechless.”
Lucadris said on Twitter: “Wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers.”
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter.