The grieving father of “Fast and Furious” actor Paul Walker, who died Saturday when the Porsche he was riding in slammed into a tree and concrete lamp post, said he was proud of his son “every day of his life.”
Standing outside his home in Sunland on Sunday, a visibly shaken Paul Walker Sr. told CBS-Los Angeles that the family was relying on the strength and support of friends as they grapple with the 40-year-old actor’s sudden death.
“I’m just... glad that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him. And he would say the same thing to me,” the father said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Monday continued to investigate the single-car crash, which also killed Walker’s friend, Roger Rodas, who was driving the 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT. The men had just taken the car out for a spin as a charity event held in support of Walker’s organization Reach Out Worldwide was winding down in Santa Clarita.
“Paul Walker jumped in the passenger side of the seat and looked at all us guys and said ‘Hey, I’ll be back in five minutes,’” family friend Jim Torp told CBS. “That never happened.”
The fiery crash left charred trees in the secluded area near a business park. The car, which was reduced to an ashen hulk, had toppled a tree and a concrete lamp post, which crews from Southern California Edison removed Sunday.
As news of Walker’s death spread, fans gathered at the crash site Sunday for a makeshift memorial. “Fast and Furious” co-star Tyrese Gibson broke down at the memorial after leaving a single flower.
“His heart was so big,” Paul Walker Sr. told CBS. “I was proud of him every day of his life.”
Authorities on Monday were investigating what may have caused the Porsche to crash. Looping tire tracks were visible on the asphalt near the crash site and officials said speed may have been a factor.
Autopsies were slated to take place later in the week.
The crash occurred about 3:30 p.m. on Hercules Street, a normally quiet road with a 45-mph speed limit. A video taken moments after the accident shows black smoke billowing from the crumpled Porsche, which caught fire, and debris scattered about the roadway.
“The car is in half. I can’t tell if there is someone in there,” one person on the video is heard saying.