Paul Walker's Death: NBC News Says Porsche Sped Into Curve (Report)

1:17 PM PST 12/02/2013 by THR Staff, The Associated Press
Associated Press

UPDATED: The network reports the car was driving 45 MPH on a curve with a speed limit of 15 MPH as the L.A. County Sheriff says it's ruled out drag racing and is investigating the incident as a one-vehicle crash.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is treating the Saturday crash that killed Fast & Furious star Paul Walker as a one-car accident, and NBC News is reporting that they've ruled out drag racing as the cause of the accident.

Andrew Blankstein, a former Los Angeles Times police reporter who now works for NBC News, took to Twitter with the network's latest news on the crash, posting "Porsche traveling approx. 45 mph near curve where speed limit dropped to about 15 mph. source tells @NBCInvestigates."

An L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told THR that they could not confirm that NBC News information, and were not aware of any 15 mph speed limit in that area.

Earlier Monday, CNN reported that officials were investigating a possible separate car was at the scene when the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Walker's racing team partner Roger Rodas, hit a light pole. Later Monday, a Sheriff's Department spokesperson told THR the second car possibility "has been exhausted" after their investigation.

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The afternoon crash sent black smoke into the air that was visible from Always Evolving Performance Motors, a company the 40-year-old Walker, a car buff, owned -- and the site of a car show and toy drive for victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Rodas, a financial adviser and race car driver, was behind the wheel, with Walker the passenger. Friends who hurried to the crash site "went through fire extinguishers" trying to put out the blaze.

The pair were so badly burned that their autopsies have been delayed pending the receipt of dental records.

The street where Walker and Rodas crashed, located in an industrial park-laden block in Valencia, Calif., is "a hot spot for street racers," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Miler told the Associated Press.

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is still investigating, but already has said speed was a factor.

However, a Sheriff's Department captain told the Los Angeles Times that people they've interviewed so far have reported seeing only the red Porsche on the street. "The only eyewitnesses to come forward saw a single speeding car," Capt. Mike Parker told the newspaper.

Parker said the department had heard rumors about a street race in the area but had not been able to verify it.
 
Walker was on a break from filming the seventh installment of Universal's Fast & Furious franchise, which had been shooting in Atlanta. Production on the film has been delayed, but not scrapped. Meanwhile, Walker's next film, The Hours, is on track to be released on Dec. 13.
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