Paul Walker behind the wheel of a Lexus LFA
Walker's spokesperson has officially confirmed the death via the actor's Facebook fan page and Twitter on Saturday, stating:
"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. - #TeamPW"
According to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, the accident occurred at the Rye Canyon Business Park, leaving two dead, with initial reports at the scene that one of the two was in fact Walker. Roger Rodas, a Pirelli World Challenge driver and co-founder for Walker's Always Evolving team, has been confirmed as the driver of the red Porsche Carrera GT supercar involved in the crash.
Walker was in Santa Clarita in part to attend a car meet hosted by Always Evolving Performance, an event that was also a charity toy drive.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's department officials are investigating the crash, noting that speed was likely a factor in the crash. The incident occurred in a 45-mph zone on the normally quiet road, but the Carrera GT involved struck and toppled a tree and a concrete lamp post, indicating a high rate of travel.
According to the LA Times, some of Walker's and Rodas' friends at the nearby Always Evolving charity meet heard the crash and saw the flames, and rushed to help. By the time they arrived on scene, the car was in flames. Firemen at the scene had to keep one of Walker's childhood friends and Rodas' son from attempting to pull the two from the car.
Fans gathered at the crash site on Sunday, showing support for Walker, placing candles, flowers, and Fast & Furious memorabilia nearby. The Fast & Furious franchise has seen six movies released since its launch in 2001, with the seventh movie to be released in 2014.