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Paul Walker crash: Thousands attend car rally in honor of actor

Thousands of friends, fans and car enthusiasts attended a memorial for actor Paul Walker in Santa Clarita on Sunday.
December 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Thousands of friends, fans and fellow high-performance car enthusiasts attended a car rally and public memorial service to pay tribute to the late "Fast and Furious" star Paul Walker in Santa Clarita on Sunday.

Hundreds of people were already milling around the area hours before the memorial started at noon.

The North Park Community Church opened its facilities and offered fans coffee and water. High-performance car enthusiasts revved their car in the church's parking lot in honor of the 40-year-old actor.

Edi Maya, Walker's gardener, attended the memorial and said he was blessed to have worked for Walker.

"Some people meet him and some people get to see him personally, you feel it," said Maya. "I have to work next to his house twice a week. It is heartbreaking."

"To pay my respects. I go to UTI, and [Walker] is part of the big reason why I go there," said Sheldon Lawrence, a fan. "He got me into cars. Since the first 'Fast and Furious' I saw he was in it, and I wanted to do the same thing."

Rick Yune, a fellow actor from the "Fast and Furious" franchise, turned out as well to see the massive memorial.

"We mourn his loss, but maybe we could just remember how great a guy this guy was and celebrate his life," said Yune.

Sunday's memorial was organized on social media. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials say about 2,000 cars passed through the area, and well over 5,000 people attended the memorial.

The large group was cooperative and peaceful, but there were a few incidents. Kyle Roberts, 29, of Arizona was arrested for possessing a loaded firearm at the memorial, according to authorities. Officials say 40 citations were issued for traffic violations, and seven cars were towed for public safety issues.

Walker and his friend, Roger Rodas, were killed in a fiery car crash near Rye Canyon Loop and Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Rodas was behind the wheel of a 600-horsepower Porsche Carrera GT, when he lost control of the car and slammed into a pole and tree. The car then burst into flames.

The duo went for a ride after attending a charity event organized by Walker's Reach Out WorldWide Organization, which helps provide relief in response to natural disasters around the world.

Coroner's officials said Walker died from a combination of injuries suffered in the impact and burns from the resulting inferno, while Rodas died from "multiple traumatic injuries."

Investigators believe speed was a factor, but there was no evidence that the pair was involved in a street race.

The crash remains under investigation. Meanwhile, a makeshift memorial of flowers, candles and notes has been set up at the site of the crash. Walker's family has since asked that donations be made to his charity instead of flowers or other gifts.

The Associated Press and CNS contributed to this report.


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