Everyone was completely shocked about the tragic death of actor Paul Walker over the weekend. He was only 40 years old and is reportedly the victim of a fiery car crash. Of course, in the days following his death, more and more details about what happened have been released. And it's all the more sad as it seems that this accident could have been avoided.
TMZ is reporting that cops now believe that Walker was in the middle of a high-speed street race with another car at the time of his death. Apparently they've received tips that Walker and the man who was driving, Roger Rodas, who also lost his life, had been racing before the crash. The area where the accident occurred is a popular street racing location.
So far, no one knows if another car was involved, and police are looking for footage and witnesses, but still ... how devastating would it be if racing were the cause that ended these two men's young lives?
The red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT carrying both men crashed into a utility pole and burst into flames in the city of Santa Clarita. "Speed was a factor in the solo vehicle collision," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. TMZ also reports that the car may have malfunctioned as well. So many theories floating around out there, it'll be hard to separate fact from fiction until an official report comes out.
Anyway, Walker leaves behind his girlfriend of seven years, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23, and his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow. Jasmine was supposedly going to become stepmother to Walker's daughter. It's also been reported that Rodas's 8-year-old son was on the scene just seconds after the crash and tried to get to them to save his father and Walker.
It's hard to believe that Walker and Rodas would get it into their heads to go speed-racing so close to a charity event in which Rodas's young son was attending on a Saturday afternoon. Apparently quite a few people heard what happened and ran over to help. It's so heartbreaking and sad, and loved ones and everyone who was a fan of Walker probably would want to know exactly what happened to lead to this tragic turn of events and if another car were involved.
To add to all of this, Walker had just begun work on Fast & Furious 7 -- a movie franchise about, among other things, illegal street racing. He played cop Brian O'Conner in five of the six The Fast and the Furious films. The latest installment was a surprise box office hit. The seventh film was scheduled to hit theaters on July 11, but now with Walker's death, production may be delayed as those working on the movie try to figure out what to do to make up for the missing star. Plans to start the shoot up again on Monday in Atlanta after Thanksgiving break have been cancelled. Let's hope the cast and crew have a chance to grieve before figuring out the logistics. Yes, movies like this have millions of dollars on the line and schedules to keep, but when something like this happens, people who worked with Walker every day need to process what happened and try to find as much closure as possible before moving on.
There's still so much to know about what happened to Walker and Rodas, but let's hope for their families' sake, the police are able to figure out what truly happened to provide them the closure they so desperately need.
Update: Officials have made a statement that the crash wasn't due to speed racing, but speed was most definitely a factor.
What do you think of this tragedy?
Image via paulwalker/Instagram