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Paul Walker mourned by friends, fans at Valencia car crash site

Tyrese and other friends and fans gathered Sunday at the site of the fiery car crash that killed actor Paul Walker.
December 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Paul Walker's friends and fans gathered Sunday at a large memorial at the site of the fiery car crash that killed the "Fast and Furious" actor and his friend in Valencia.

Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, died Saturday in the single-car crash, which occurred around 3:30 p.m. near Rye Canyon Loop and Kelly Johnson Parkway. The crash happened in an area known for street racing.

Mourners left flowers, candles, DVDs, and loving messages at the makeshift memorial. Fans said they admire Walker for his films and his charity work.

"He was a very good actor and he was a very good person. I did meet him in Santa Barbara when I lived out there and he was so sweet and so kind and so down to earth," said fan Natalie Holst of Burbank.

"He meant a lot to me, and I thought that he was one of the coolest guys to me in the films," said Ethan Slattery, a fan.

Walker's friend and co-star, Tyrese Gibson, was overcome with emotion and broke down as he visited the scene of the accident.

On Saturday, Tyrese posted on Instagram: "My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real Father God I pray that you send clarity over this, cause I just don't understand My heart hurts it's broken no one can convince me that this is real....Prayer warriors please pray real hard for his only child, his daughter and family."

Friends said Walker, a car enthusiast, decided to go for a ride with Rodas, his friend and business partner. Walker is believed to have been the passenger in the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, which crashed into a tree and light pole and burst in flames.

Workers from a nearby auto shop owned by Rodas and Walker tried to save the men from the burning car. Rodas' 11-year-old son was with them.

"You heard the little boy telling his mommy that daddy died and he saw it, and that was the hardest part for me," said Jim Torp of Santa Clarita.

Los Angeles County firefighters arrived, extinguished the fire and found the two victims inside the vehicle, sheriff's officials said. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

The 40-year-old actor had attended a charity event at a nearby business he owned called Always Evolving Performance. Toys were being collected for Walker's foundation named Reach Out Worldwide, which helps disaster victims.

The coroner has not been able to identify the bodies of the two men. Due to the nature of the crash, dental records will be needed to positively identify the bodies. In addition, an autopsy is scheduled for the next couple of days.

The exact cause of the accident remains under investigation, but authorities said that speed was a factor in the crash.

Walker starred in all but one of the six "Fast and Furious" movies, and one of the producers of the franchise said the actor was about to finish shooting the seventh installment.

"Vin (Diesel) and Paul were supposed to be filming tomorrow and then this happened," said Valentino Morales.

Walker also starred in the suspense drama, "Hours," a movie that is set for release on Dec. 13.

Walker was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. His uncle, Rhett Walker, said his nephew always cared for others.

"We're extremely proud of him and everything that he did was always in a loving and caring way, not just about himself, but about everybody else that was around him," Rhett Walker told Eyewitness News. "He appreciated everyone that he came in contact with. It was always a special moment for everyone. He made time for everyone to be there and let them know that he truly appreciated life. And utmost, he really loved his daughter, Meadow. That was the reason why he did everything that he did."

Walker's daughter is 15 years old. The actor was not married.


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