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Paul Walker's Porsche had outdated tires at time of fatal crash

Highway and Road DisastersDisasters and AccidentsTransportation DisastersPaul Walker

The Porsche that Paul Walker was riding in when it crashed and burst into flames, killing the "Fast & Furious" actor and his friend behind the wheel, was on tires that were more than twice the recommended age for the high-performance car, investigators found.

At least two of the tires were more than nine years old; Porsche recommends that tires be replaced after four years. As a result, CHP investigators wrote that "the driveability and handling characteristics" of the car "may have been compromised."

Still, investigators determined that the cause of the fatal crash was "unsafe speed for the roadway conditions," L.A. County Sheriff's Cmdr. Mike Parker said.

Sheriff's officials, which released a final report into the Santa Clarita crash Tuesday, along with California Highway Patrol crash experts found no evidence of any car system failures. 

Investigators also noted that the Porsche's horsepower had been boosted by an aftermarket exhaust system.

An earlier L.A. County coroner's report had pegged the speed at more than 100 mph, but the traffic analysis determined that it was a bit slower. That analysis was based on markings the vehicle left known as yaw marks, which occur when a driver steers sharply.

Using the road marks, investigators determined that the Porsche's speed was 80.59 mph to 93.97 mph. That would mean that the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Walker's friend Roger Rodas, was traveling about twice the 45 mph limit on Hercules Street when it crashed Nov. 30.

According to investigators, the Porsche took the sweeping right turn, veered, then hit the opposite curb, sending the car into a tree and then a light pole with tremendous force. The car spun and hit another tree on the vehicle's passenger side, then split into two pieces and caught fire.

Walker, 40, and Rodas, 38, a veteran race car driver, were killed almost instantly, succumbing to multiple traumatic injuries and the fire. Their bodies were found braced for impact in a "pugilistic" stance, according to the coroner's report.

They were taking a short ride at a charity event when the crash occurred.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @LAcrimes

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Highway and Road DisastersDisasters and AccidentsTransportation DisastersPaul Walker
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