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Cause of Walker crash is still under investigation

LOS ANGELES — Investigators were working to determine the circumstances surrounding the single-vehicle crash that killed actor Paul Walker and another man Saturday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said Sunday.

Speed may have been a factor in the crash, which occurred about 3:30 p.m. on a normally quiet road with a 45-mph speed limit in Valencia, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said. Walker, a star of the Fast & Furious movie series, was apparently the passenger in the 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT3.

The four-lane road up the hilly street has signs warning drivers to slow down as they approach an uphill curve near the site of the accident.

The fiery crash north of Los Angeles left charred trees in the secluded area near a business park, and a burned odor lingered in the air Sunday. The car, which was reduced to an ashen hulk, toppled a tree and a concrete lamp post. Looping tire tracks were visible on the asphalt nearby.

Investigators were looking at whether the tire tracks are related to the crash, but the investigation is ongoing, Deputy Peter Gomez said.

Because of the condition of the bodies, which were badly burned, dental records will be used to positively identify the victims, said Los Angeles County coroner's investigator Dana Bee. Autopsies have not been scheduled.

Walker, 40, and his friend, whom witness Jim Torp identified as Roger Rodas, took a red Porsche out for a spin as a charity event held in support of Walker's organization Reach Out Worldwide was winding down.

Torp said his son Brandon, 28, saw his two friends burn in the car before the Fire Department arrived. Officials at the scene held back a childhood friend of Walker from pulling his body from the burning car, and firefighters had to pull Rodas' young son away from the wreckage, Torp said.

"They just didn't want to believe this happened," Torp told fans and media at the crash site on Sunday. "It was (Fast & Furious), that's what it is. Both race car enthusiasts, both loved speed, both knew how to handle cars and this had to happen."

Cause of Walker crash is still under investigation 12/01/13 [Last modified: Monday, December 2, 2013 12:49am]
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