Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Fans Told To Stop Burning Rubber Near Site Of Paul Walker's Fatal Crash
Fans of the late actor Paul Walker have been warned by authorities to stop burning rubber at the site of the single-car accident that killed Walker and a friend Saturday afternoon in southern California.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies were sent to the location of the wreck Monday after receiving reports that some drivers were spinning their tires as they passed the site as a misguided tribute to the star of the "Fast and Furious" films,
whose plots centered on illegal street racing.
Officials said Monday that there was no evidence that racing played a factor in the crash.
"So far, I haven't had any reports of any drivers being cited or arrested," Sgt. Richard Cohen told MyFoxLA.com. "But we have deputies there to stop that behavior if it happens again."
Some of the maneuvers also involved drifting, a technique in which a driver intentionally oversteers his car, causing a loss of traction in the rear wheels and sliding the rear end of the car from side to side.
Walker was a passenger in the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT being driven by fellow fast-car enthusiast Roger Rodas when it crashed into a light pole and a tree before bursting into flames.
The neighborhood the crash occurred is known to attract street racers, law enforcement officials told the Associated Press.
Walker and Rodas had taken what was expected to be a brief drive away from a charity fundraiser and toy drive at Rodas' custom car shop in the Southern California community of Valencia, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The crash happened on a street that forms an approximately 1-mile loop amid industrial office parks. It is rimmed by hills and relatively isolated from traffic, especially on weekends. "It's well-known out here that that's a hot spot for street racers," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Rick Miler said. "It's a long stretch where, weekends, businesses are all closed and they feel like nobody's going to bother them up there." Skid marks are a testament to past antics on the loop.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which polices the neighborhood, said Saturday's wreck was not the first speed-related crash there but would not reveal specifics.
The department is compiling statistics to determine whether the neighborhood has had more incidents or citations than other out-of-the-way areas.
Meanwhile, investigators are consulting video from security cameras, talking to eyewitnesses and analyzing physical evidence such as on-board computer data from the Porsche.
Eyewitnesses have said the car "was traveling alone at a high rate of speed," the sheriff's department said in a written statemenbrr t. The posted limit was 45 mph. Officials have not named either person found in the car.
The bodies were so badly burned by the fire that engulfed the wreck that dental records will be needed to confirm their identities.
Walker and Rodas had bonded over their shared love of fast cars. Rodas, 38, and Walker, 40, co-owned an auto racing team named after Rodas' shop, Always Evolving.
Rodas was a financial adviser as well as a professional driver who competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races in 2013, his first year on the circuit. He finished second in rookie of the year standings, circuit spokesman Dave Drimmie said.
Walker starred in all but one of the six "Fast & Furious" blockbusters.
He had been on break from shooting the latest installment; Universal Pictures has not said what it plans to do with "Fast & Furious 7," currently slated for a July release.