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Law enforcement investigation reveals cause of crash that led to Paul Walker's death

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Porsche carrying "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was traveling approximately 90 mph when it lost control on a suburban street and crashed, killing the actor and his friend, according to an investigation by law enforcement agencies into the November accident.

The sports car slammed into a light pole which had a speed limit sign of 45 mph, killing Walker and Roger Rodas in a fiery wreck.

Investigators concluded that unsafe driving, not mechanical problems, caused the crash, according to a person who has reviewed a report by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol. Investigators calculated that Rodas was driving between 81 mph and 94 mph when his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT began to drift as it lost control after coming out of a curve.

"The vehicle had no mechanical failure and the damage that occurred to the vehicle was from the collision," accident reconstruction specialists with the Highway Patrol wrote, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the report has not been officially released yet.

A spokeswoman said Tuesday that the Sheriff's Department had no new information to release regarding the investigation into the Nov. 30 crash. "We will have something in the very near future," department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida wrote in an email. The CHP declined comment.

The Associated Press reported in December that investigators had found no evidence that the car had mechanical problems and ruled out debris or other roadway conditions.

Subsequently, Porsche sent engineers to California to review the rare car's wreckage. Though it was badly mangled and burned, the engineers were able to do a thorough analysis. They found no problems with the car's electrical systems, brakes, throttle, fuel system, steering, suspension or other systems.

Porsche declined a request for comment Tuesday.

The conclusion about the speed was based on a "yaw" mark on the road that the car's tire left on the road in an area of industrial office parks in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Witnesses told a sheriff's deputy that they thought the car could have been traveling in excess of 100 mph.

Post-crash investigators noted several issues with the condition of the car, which had several prior owners, including IndyCar driver Graham Rahal:

-Its original exhaust system had been modified in a way that could allow it to go faster, but also could have been done to change its sound.

-Its tires were about nine years old; the owner's manual suggests changing the tires after four years.

-Its left rear brake rotor was worn below manufacturer specifications, but that did not contribute to the crash.

Rodas, 38, and Walker, 40, had taken what was supposed to be a quick ride from a fundraiser benefiting Reach Out Worldwide, a Walker charity that gives first-response aid to victims of natural disasters. The crash occurred near the fundraiser, and horrified friends of the men raced to the scene.

While Rodas was Walker's financial adviser, the two had bonded over their shared love of fast cars. They co-owned an auto racing team named after Rodas' shop, Always Evolving, and Rodas drove professionally for the team on the Pirelli World Challenge circuit in 2013.

Walker starred in all but one of the six "Fast & Furious" blockbusters, which glorify muscular cars and risky driving.

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Ed March 25 2014 at 7:42 PM

Very sad and very stupid...

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1 reply
rumpoint4us Ed March 25 2014 at 7:50 PM

Could put it better!

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garry March 25 2014 at 8:28 PM

As they say..." Speed Kills ! "

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jubequinn March 25 2014 at 8:30 PM

This car was barley legal for the street. It was like a rocket on four wheels.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
jillcc8286 March 25 2014 at 8:34 PM

all I have to say .. idiot! Walker was the passenger :(
Well good for your mom that makes $66 an hour ..

Flag Reply +3 rate up
A SMARTBARE March 25 2014 at 8:35 PM

I fixed two of these cars after an accident. Around $175,000 to rebuild each one . Its a race car with a license plate, Very easy to loose control at hi speed around curves. Stupidy to drive the way they did.

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jona817 March 25 2014 at 8:38 PM

The crash caused the deaths...but stupidity caused the crash.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
eagle3636 March 25 2014 at 8:39 PM

well how many kids were kiled and maimed trying to emulate these fools!

Flag Reply +8 rate up
piersall1937 March 25 2014 at 8:46 PM

i like paul walker too much and very hard active i missing him... god took him peace

Flag Reply +1 rate up
crystallnsmdv March 25 2014 at 9:06 PM

I seek to blame any one on this topic, the fact we have now lost one of our great stars should be enough to just say slow down. It's a risk to bring the audience fast chase senes. Though Fast and Furious was on the highlight of street racing it has now also proven just how dangerous speed racing can be. Something it always has been. As for our beloved star he died doing what he loved.He will be missed by many of his fans. ~C.G.

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1 reply
donbanf crystallnsmdv March 25 2014 at 9:52 PM

I am a fan too. I really feel for his family. The day this happened was my birthday. I was out with family and friends having a nice dinner. When I got home, I got on the internet and the first thing I saw was "Actor Paul Walker killed in car crash in LA". I "yelled" silently, NO! I was so sad, so bummed. What a birthday. It really brought me down. This article has confirmed for me what I thought all along, was that they simply were going too fast and lost control of the car. Perhaps as this article states, the tires could have been in less than satisfactory condition and that might have contributed but who knows? This car had a reputation for being hard to control. Walker was not the one driving and I sometimes wonder if he was OK with how fast his friend was going. Maybe the friend was trying to show off. I heard this was an industrial area that would have been pretty deserted on the weekend and was popular for the occasional drag race so while it may not have been prudent or entirely legal, I don't think they were endangering anyone else. Anyway, to remember him, I recently started watching all the sequels (having seen the first one in theater) and to see him so alive on film just makes it seem all the more impossible. I also am going to watch Hours and Brick Mansions when it comes out. He will be missed.

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hellokitty5426 March 25 2014 at 9:07 PM

such a shame :(

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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