The car crash that killed “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas was caused by excessive speed that may have topped 93 mph, about twice the speed limit of the curvy road in the Santa Clarita business park where the accident occurred, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators have determined.
According to The Times, investigators used road marks left by the vehicle, a high-performance 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by Rodas, to determine that the car was traveling between 80.59 mph and 93.97 mph when it crashed Nov. 30.
“Investigators determined the cause of the fatal solo-vehicle collision was unsafe speed for the roadway conditions,” sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Parker said.
The report came the same day that Universal Studios previewed the upcoming film “Fast & Furious 7" at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, which gave the first glimpse of Walker’s final performance in the popular franchise.
When Walker died, he still had a substantial portion of the film to shoot, and the studio pushed the film’s release from this summer to April 2015.
In the sheriff’s department report, officials found no evidence of any car system failures, but at least two of the tires were more than nine years old. Porsche recommends that tires be replaced after four years. As a result, “the driveability and handling characteristics” of the car “may have been compromised,” California Highway Patrol investigators wrote.
The Porsche’s horsepower had also been boosted by an aftermarket exhaust system.
According to the investigation, the Porsche took a sweeping right turn before veering and hitting the opposite curb, which sent the car into a series of collisions with a tree, a light pole and then another tree, causing the car to split in two and burst into flames. Walker, 40, and Rodas, 38, a veteran race car driver, were killed almost instantly.
No evidence was found that the car was racing another vehicle.