What car did Paul die in? Inside the fatal car accident

What car did Paul die in? On November 30th, 2013, Paul Walker, the “Fast and Furious” lead actor, got in the passenger seat of a car that was bound to be his last ride. Next to him was Roger Rodas, an experienced race car driver. The pair was leaving a charity event in Santa Clarita organized by Walker. According to TMZ, “the driver somehow lost control and slammed into a post or a tree … and the car burst into flames”. Unfortunately, neither survived the car crash.

As the dust settled, the car came under intense scrutiny. Just like in “Fast and Furious” movies, Paul Walker was an avid collector of exotic cars. The one that killed him was also a rare collectible car — but was the car to blame for his death? Or was the accident a consequence of dangerous driving? Here is everything you need to know about the car that killed Walker.

What car did Paul die in?

The car that killed Walker was a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT owned and driven that fateful day by his friend, Rodas. The Porsche Carrera GT is a sports car with a powerful 5.7-liter V10 mid-engine with an output of 612 PS — the equivalent of 603 hp. How fast is it? The Carrera GT can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, and it can achieve a maximum speed of 205 mph.

What car did Paul die in

It was super-fast back in 2004 when it was first sold, and even by today’s standards, it’s incredibly fast. This is because the Carrera GT’s engine was designed to race in the 2000 24 hours of Le Mans, but Porsche decided to make it street-legal.

Another cool thing about the Porsche Carrera GT is the exquisite body with a removable roof — it doesn’t look like any other Porsche sports car on the road, yet it maintains the Porsche signature look. According to Porsche, the chassis of the Carrera GT is made of carbon fiber to reduce weight.

Every single body part on the Porsche Carrera GT serves a purpose to improve the performance, and like any sports car that was designed for 24 hours of Le Mans, you can push it to the limit and it won’t overheat.

So exclusive is the Porsche Carrera GT that only 1,270 units were made between 2003 to 2006. At the time, it was sold at around $440,000 — but today, it’s a classic car selling for over $1 million.

The Porsche Carrera GT is difficult to control

In a Top Gear episode, Jeremy Clarkson said the Porsche Carrera GT “isn’t an easy car to control … the clutch is brutal, the power is savage, and the handling, you really are on a knife edge.”

Even The Stig, Top Gear’s race driver, had a difficult time controlling the Porsche Carrera GT on his first attempt. This is because the Porsche Carrera GT doesn’t have stability control — it was one of the reasons that Walker’s daughter sued Porsche after the accident.

What car did Paul die in

Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time that Porsche was sued for a fatal accident with a Carrera GT. Six years before Walker’s death, Porsche was one of the accused parties in a lawsuit where the claimant argued that the lack of electronic stability control in the Carrera GT was one of the contributing factors that caused an accident.

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What’s even more complicated is that the car is designed with a six-speed manual transmission. This means that if you’re driving a Porsche Carrera GT using a manual transmission and without stability control, you would probably find it challenging to steer especially on corners.

Car collector and comedian Jay Leno almost crashed into a wall while driving a Porsche Carrera GT on a race track — and he shared his experience on Popular Mechanics.

Walker wasn’t so lucky. Investigations concluded the Porsche Carrera GT that killed him was moving at speed of between 80 mph to 93 mph. However, his daughter disputed that speed in the lawsuit by claiming it was between 63 mph to 71 mph.

The Porsche had old tires

According to Consumer Reports, the Porsche Carrera GT that killed Walker had two tires that were almost nine years old. Autoweek also reports that the Porsche Carrera GT had 3,283 miles on the odometer. In essence, it wasn’t driven very often since it was a collectible sports car — and it was probably the reason why the tires weren’t changed for nine years.

Several Porsche dealer sites recommend that you replace the tires after five years. This is because tires are made of rubber, which degrades even if you don’t take your car out for a drive. Let’s put it this way: if you’re driving a Porsche Carrera GT at high speed with no stability control, and the tires are worn out, a slight miscalculation by the driver could cause the car to spin out of control and crash.

The Porsche Carrera GT was discontinued

Seven years before Paul Walker’s death, Porsche Carrera GT was discontinued because of new airbag regulations stipulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Per the regulations, all new vehicles were required to include dual-stage airbags as a safety precaution.

However, it’s unlikely that the dual-stage airbags would have prevented Walker’s death, considering that the car exploded after impact. However, according to the coroner’s report, Walker did succumb to traumatic injuries.

The lack of dual-stage airbags in the Carrera GT was not a point of contention that was raised by Walker’s daughter in the lawsuit against Porsche. The airbags were deployed during the crash, and both passengers were wearing seatbelts.

It was established that Walker was trapped in the car before it caught fire, and the lawsuit argued that the seat belt system and fuel line were defective — and if they were designed better, maybe Walker would have survived. The lawsuit also argued that the Carrera GT didn’t have a reinforced crash cage.

Porsche denied any liability but chose to settle the lawsuit filed by Walker’s daughter out of court for an undisclosed amount (via ABC News). A judge also dismissed a different lawsuit filed by Rodas’ widow against Porsche due to insufficient evidence — according to NBC News. So far, however, no court ruling concluded the Porsche Carrera GT’s design was to blame for Walker’s death.

The Fast And Furious Rise of Paul Walker

Born on September 12, 1973, in Glendale, California, Paul William Walker IV led a rather charmed life. His mother, Cheryl Crabtree Walker, had been a model until she married former amateur boxer Paul William Walker III and gave birth to five children. Paul was the eldest. He began his entertainment career at a young age, nabbing his first commercial for Pampers at age two.

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What car did Paul die in

Walker auditioned for roles throughout middle and high school and secured minor parts in shows like Highway to Heaven and Charles in Charge. He graduated from Village Christian School in Sun Valley, California, in 1991, but his film career didn’t take off until the latter half of the decade.

Based on Kenneth Li’s 1998 VIBE magazine article “Racer X,” the movie centered on the illegal drag racing community and the criminal elements that surrounded it. Walker starred opposite action film star Vin Diesel, and their characters became cult favorites. Their onscreen chemistry later translated to a strong offscreen friendship, as well.

Initially sidelined as a risk, the film set the groundwork for what would become a record-breaking, multi-billion-dollar franchise. Walker was happy to be living the dream. On top of his success on the screen, Walker fathered a daughter named Meadow Rain Walker with his girlfriend Rebecca McBrain and spent his spare time racing, surfing, and working with his charity.

Inside the fatal car accident

On November 30, 2013, Paul Walker intended to spend the day with his family. He was discussing plans to purchase a Christmas tree with his mother Cheryl and his daughter Meadow, who was 15 years old at the time, when he suddenly remembered that his charity was holding an event.

“We were having this good conversation, and he’d forgotten about an event he had,” Cheryl Walker later said. “He got a text and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m supposed to be somewhere!’”

The gathering went off without a hitch, but it ended in tragedy before rush hour with Paul Walker’s death. At about 3:30 p.m., Walker and Rodas decided to take the Porsche for a spin to test it on a popular drifting curve at an office park in the Valencia neighborhood of Santa Clarita.

Both the 38-year-old driver and his famous passenger wore seatbelts during the ride, but no precautions would help them once the car hit a curb and the driver’s side clipped a tree and a light post. The car spun around, with the passenger side hitting another tree, and caught on fire.

Countless terrified passersby looked on as the shattered vehicle burned into a smoldering husk. Its passengers were still trapped inside when Rodas’ young son arrived in shock. He had run over to gaze at the scene, unaware this was the same car his father had just left in until he noted its model.

Many tried to help, with shop employees reaching into the car in an attempt to pull the victims out. But due to the intense flames, they had no choice but to stand back and watch Paul Walker’s death. In the end, Walker was burned beyond recognition and had to be identified by his dental records.

How did Paul Walker die?

An investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department into how Paul Walker died determined that the speed of the car was a major factor. Initially, the department estimated that the Porsche was going between 80 and 93 miles per hour at the time of the crash. Later, the coroner’s report determined that the car was traveling at about 100 miles per hour.

The report read: “For an unknown reason, the driver lost control of the vehicle and the vehicle partially spun around and began to travel in a south-easterly direction. The vehicle then struck a sidewalk and the driver’s side struck a tree and then a light post.

The force of these collisions caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees and it continued to travel in an easterly direction. The passenger side of the vehicle then struck a tree and it then burst into flames.”

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So, how did Paul Walker die? According to the report, Walker’s cause of death was traumatic and thermal injuries, while Rodas died of traumatic injuries. There were no signs of drugs or alcohol detected in either man.

What car did Paul die in

In 2015, Walker’s daughter Meadow filed a wrongful death suit, blaming Porsche’s design flaws for the accident.

“The bottom line is that the Porsche Carrera GT is a dangerous car,” Meadow Walker’s attorney, Jeff Milam, said. “It doesn’t belong on the street. And we shouldn’t be without Paul Walker or his friend, Roger Rodas.”

Ultimately, a thorough analysis found “no pre-existing conditions that would have caused this collision” and blamed worn-out tires and unsafe speeds. Both airbags had deployed as intended, with the autopsy stating Rodas had “rapidly died of severe blunt head, neck, and chest trauma.”

The investigation revealed even more about how Paul Walker died. His autopsy noted fractures in the left jawbone, collarbone, pelvis, ribs, and spine. In addition, “scant soot” was found in his trachea.

Porsche also claimed that the car had been “abused and altered” by unforeseeable modifications. Ultimately, Walker’s daughter settled the lawsuit two years later, keeping the terms confidential.

Meanwhile, the crash site became a mecca for mourning fans to leave tributes to the late actor. And since Paul Walker’s death had occurred in the middle of the filming of Furious 7, Universal Pictures announced a production hiatus until they could consult with his family.

After Walker was cremated and laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, his brother Cody helped the Furious 7 crew finish shooting. He not only hauntingly resembled Walker’s likeness — he felt he owed him everything.

Who was Roger Rodas?

Rodas was a beloved racing enthusiast, a philanthropist, and a financial planner, an important figure in the world of finance. Rodas, a native of El Salvador., was the managing director of wealth management for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, Barron’s magazine included Rodas on its list of the top 1,000 financial advisers in the United States.

Always Evolving was a racing shop in Los Angeles, and Rodas was the business owner. He was also the captain of the company’s racing team. According to the website for the team, Walker is a member of the driving crew for the team. He was married and had two children.

Rodas was also a philanthropist. Rodas ran his charity organization to provide financial support to widows and orphans in El Salvador. He worked specifically with Reach Out Worldwide and The Asomugha Foundation, Kerry Washington’s husband Nnamdi Asomugha’s foundation.

How did Roger Rodas and Paul Walker meet?

Rodas and Walker first became acquainted in a California racing club. Rodas was driving a Porsche that Walker had owned at one point in the past. Soon, the two were competing against one another side by side.

At one point, they joined forces with two professional drivers to take part in a pro-am endurance race that lasted for 25 hours and took place in Thunder Hill, California. While they turned into close friends. He was also Walker’s financial advisor.

Roger Rodas and Paul Walker did philanthropic work together. Rodas and Walker established Reach Out Worldwide, a group of first responders who offer assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters worldwide. The team uses their equipment and flies into the damaged areas to provide immediate assistance as soon as possible. Even to this very day, it is still in operation.

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