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"The speed, the speed alone"An investigator reportedly told the Associated Press news agency about the death of Paul Walker in December 2013. However, since he was not authorized to speak about the case in public, there was still no official confirmation of the result. As TMZ reported at the same time, citing anonymous sources from investigative circles, the investigations into the circumstances of the accident were still in full swing. Even some Porsche engineers had flown to the USA to analyze the condition of the car and evaluate the on-board computer.
A few days after the accident that killed Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, police reports and witness statements gradually shed light on the background. The website radaronline, citing a police investigator, reported that the two friends were driving at least 162 kilometers per hour in a possibly defective Porsche. The speed limit at the scene of the accident was 70 km / h. According to reports in the Los Angeles Times quoting a coroner, both inmates are said to be "within seconds" died.
Did engine problems lead to Paul Walker's death?
Rodas and Walker previously attended a charity event initiated by Walker on the grounds of Roda's tuning workshop in Santa Clarita. Witnesses report that Rodas wanted to take a test drive with the red Porsche because an employee had previously reported to him about the car's engine problems. Walker then spontaneously decided to join.
What ultimately led to Rodas - an experienced racing driver - losing control of the car is still unclear. The police do not rule out a defect in the steering either - traces of leaked hydraulic oil were found at the scene of the accident. Rumors that the car accident was preceded by an illegal race with another car have meanwhile been denied by the police.
From TV advertising to the big screen
Paul Walker's life, ended early at the age of forty, began on September 12, 1973 in Glendale, California. He was the oldest of five children, all of whom were Mormon raised and attended Christian high school. After graduating from high school, Walker studied marine biology, pursuing a passion that has stayed with him throughout his life. Meanwhile, he abandoned the dogmatic interpretation of Mormon Christianity.
The step into professional acting followed during my studies. Walker wanted to appear in a film here and there to finance his studies, but that kicked off his career long ago. As a toddler, he appeared in television commercials, followed by minor roles in sitcoms and appearances in game shows. Paul Walker's first major attention was when he was twenty years old when he played Brandon Collins in the soap opera "The Young and the Restless". It was an impulse that made him leave television behind. He started playing more and more B-movies on a budget, always hoping to make the next big leap.
He succeeded. 2001 came the breakthrough as Brian O'Connor in "The Fast and the Furious". It was the role that defined him over six films until his death. Before his accident, Walker was filming the seventh part of the series in Atlanta, which was due to hit theaters in June 2014 and was half shot by then. What was to become of the project was initially unclear. Especially in view of the circumstances of death, it was considered difficult to advertise the film about fast cars and breakneck car chases in the usual form.
Ultimately, Walker's brother Cody, who was fifteen years his junior, replaced the tragically vacant position as an actor or body double, so that the film could be shot completely. After its release in 2015, it became his huge financial hit.
Paul Walker's autopsy report
While Universal Studios worked on how to complete the film that had been started, the world waited for more specific information on Paul Walker's death. They finally became public a few weeks after the accident. Accordingly, the actor died not only from his car crashing into a tree, but from burns from the fire that followed. This is reported by the TMZ page, which is said to have the autopsy report of the fatally injured Paul Walker and the driver Roger Rodas. In contrast to Walker, Rodas died immediately after the impact and did not succumb to the burns.
The Los Angeles coroners would therefore have with Walker "Combined effects of accident and heat injuries" held at Rodas "Multiple accidental injuries". According to the report, both car occupants were after the impact "Rapid" died. For a long time there had been speculation about the accidental death of Paul Walker until the report clarified: the actor was traveling at 160 kilometers per hour when he died, the impact tore the accident car in half.
The cause of the loss of control of the car remained unknown. The car turned several times and first hit a curb, then collided with a street sign and finally with a tree and went up in flames. According to the police report, alcohol and drugs were not involved, and illegal car racing is also excluded as a cause of the accident.
Paul Walker's funeral
Paul Walker was buried in Los Angeles two weeks after his death. Friends and family gathered for the funeral at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills. Michael Jackson († 50), Liz Taylor († 79) and Walt Disney († 65) were also buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery.
Luke Evans, Walker's co-star in "The Fast And The Furious" films, commented on the fatal accident for the first time in advance. "It's awful"said Evans to Total Film. “I haven't had time to process it yet. It slowly seeps into my consciousness, as it does with all other people. He was a really lovely man. "
Paul Walker's funeral took place in the most private circle: Almost only the family was present, as well as close friends and crew members of the film series "The Fast and the Furious", as TMZ reported. Walker's relatives were very worried about his 15-year-old daughter Meadow, whom they did not want to expose to the media hype.
Farewell to the fans
Thousands of fans said goodbye to their idol the following day, which they had followed for years on the screen. Paris Hilton let an airplane banner fly in the sky: "Our Hearts Go Out To His Friends & Family".
The memorial service took place on Hercules Road, the street where Walker and driver Roger Rodas had an accident with their car. Paul Walker's fans came with their cars - and let the engines roar. However, the announced memorial rally did not take place. Several cars that Walker drove in his films were parked on the side of the road. The funeral service ended with a motorcade.
In memory of friends and colleagues of Paul Walker
Other colleagues and friends also said goodbye. Ludacris posted a photo on Instagram that shows him with the cast of "Fast & Furious" at a richly laid table, including the line:"Thankful for the Fast Family."
Jordana Brewster, who played the wife of Walker-played undercover agent Brian O'Conner on "Fast & Furious," tweeted the words"Paul was pure light. I cannot believe he is gone. "
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson also posted a sad tweet, especially wishing Walker's family Kraft:"All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength .. in his light. Love you brother ”
Jessica Alba, who worked alongside Walker in the adventure film "Into The Blue", tweeted along with a photo of the deceased:"# RIP # PaulWalker He was such a sweet and grounded guy -my heart goes out to his family #sosad"
Idris Elba, who starred with Paul Walker in the thriller "Takers", said in a statement:"Paul was a mate, a good guy and a great father, we used to talk about our daughters. He will be missed massively by our industry and his fans ”.
Vin Diesel, the figurehead of the "Fast & Furious" series, tweeted: "Brother, I will miss you very much. Heaven has gained a new angel. Rest in peace".
Lawsuit against Porsche
Both the actor's daughter Meadow and the actor's father brought charges against the car manufacturer Porsche in the aftermath of the accident, believing that the sports car had previously had technical problems. However, an expert opinion revealed that both the allegedly over nine-year-old tires of the car and the excessive speed (over 160 km / h instead of the permitted 72) were the cause of the accident.
Reports emerged in which Porsche employees stated that the affected model had been involved in numerous accidents. One employee even stated that he would be happy for all Carrera GT owners because: "After all, the copies are now rare." Another Porsche employee doesn't take the problems so lightly. He wrote that he was always afraid to drive his car - due to the numerous accidents that had already occurred with this model.
The sports car manufacturer pointed out that Walker is a "more knowledgeable and capable " Was a driver who, under the circumstances at the time, was not allowed to take part in the drive on his own responsibility. Roda's widow then filed a lawsuit against Porsche in federal court in California. In April 2016, the Los Angeles court dismissed the lawsuits because insufficient evidence had been produced to prove the automaker was guilty of Walker and Rodas deaths.
8.9 million euros in compensation
Finally, Paul Walker's daughter Meadow received the equivalent of 8.9 million euros in compensation from the estate of Rodas, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The benchmark for performance was an estimated fortune that Paul Walker would have earned if he had continued to do his job.
Even though Paul Walker passed away seven years ago, his spirit still lives on. This is ensured not least by his daughter Meadow, who created a foundation in memory of him on the occasion of his birthday. The then sixteen-year-old tweeted that the idea came to her "To share a part of my father with the world."The message of the organization is "Do good"Just as Paul Walker lived it, who not only had a great passion for the sea, but was also always committed to people and animals.
The foundation has the task of"To support future generations by providing grants and scholarships and spontaneous benefits."Meadow wrote on Instagram: "I can't think of a better way to celebrate my father."In addition to his work as an actor, Walker was a passionate documentary filmmaker. He was able to combine his studies in marine biology with his job in the film industry. Walker's great passion in this field were films about sharks.
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