[UPDATED] Confirmed: Actor Paul Walker Has Died In A Car Crash
Walker at the 'Fast & Furious 6' World Premiere earlier this year. (Getty)
According to a TMZ report, Paul Walker has died in car crash in Santa Clarita, CA. The site reports that "the actor was in a Porsche when the driver somehow lost control and slammed into a post or a tree... and then the car burst into flames." As of 6 p.m. PST, law enforcement was still on the scene, with the L.A. County Coroner's Office on the way. No names have been released.
Prior to the site's report, a poster on a message board wrote: "It seems Paul went for a ride in a guys Porsche and they ended up around a phone pole, the car burst onto flames and rumor has it Paul is dead. I hope he got it wrong but he insists it was Paul... [he] has video on his phone of the burning car."
The LA County Sheriff's department confirmed with Jalopnik that two people were DoA in the collision, but have not released names. Their official release states the collision occurred at the "28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia... at approximately 3:30 p.m. Deputies found the vehicle engulfed in flames. The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded, extinguished the fire and subsequently located two victims inside the vehicle. The victims were pronounced dead at the scene."
The scene of the crash (TMZ via Twitter)
TMZ sources say the actor was in Santa Clarita for a car show to support the Philippines typhoon relief effort.
The actor, best known for his role in the Fast and the Furious movies, was 40 years old. We'll update when there is more information available.
Around 7 p.m. PST, actress Marlee Matlin Tweeted that the reports are true, per a conversation she had with a Fast And The Furious producer.
Regarding Paul Walker, I heard it from a friend who produced the Fast & Furious franchise. it's true he has passed. RIP Paul Walker.— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) December 1, 2013
And TMZ has confirmation from a rep of Walker's:
A rep for Paul Walker confirms to TMZ the actor died today in the crash after leaving a charity event.— TMZ (@TMZ) December 1, 2013
At around 7:15 PST, this was posted on Paul Walker's official Facebook page:
"It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences."
And more photos from the horrific crash site are turning up:
UPDATE 12/1: Details about the moments leading to Paul Walker's death are coming to light. TMZ is reporting that the Porsche Carrera GT Walker and friend Roger Rodas died in "kept stalling." Walker wanted to take the Porsche for a joyride, and Rodas obliged.
The events immediately after the crash are also becoming more clear. A childhood friend of Walker's who was at the event had to be physically restrained by firefighters after he desperately tried to pull Walker out of the burning wreckage. Authorities also had to hold back Rodas' young son from approaching the wreck. Walker's friend, reportedly named Nute, was temporarily put into custody and released by police after punching a firefighter who was trying to restrain him, TMZ says.
Rodas was an auto mechanic who specialized in exotic cars. He owned Always Evolving, the shop that was holding the Philippine typhoon relief event and car show that was put on by Walker's charity, Reach Out Worldwide.
J.D. Dorfman, a spokesperson for Reach Out Worldwide, posted this message on Facebook about Walker:
Paul wasn't someone who would just write a check and lend his name to an organization; he was the heart and soul of Reach Out WorldWide. Paul was the first one in and the last one out, he led by example and his hard work and dedication inspired everyone who had the privilege of working with him. He led one of the first teams into the hardest hit areas of Haiti and traveled to Chile to bring water, medical aid and hope after the Earthquake and Tsunami. He ran a chainsaw clearing debris and helping people get back into their homes during the hottest days after the tornadoes in Alabama. Some people play a hero, Paul was a hero. Paul was an honorable, hardworking, dedicated, respectful man with a humble spirit who shared his blessings with those who needed it most. It was an honor and a privilege to be able to work with, learn and look up to someone who walked the walk.