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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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vancurren March 25 2014 at 6:29 PM

Wouldn't it be great that each and every vehicular fatality was investigated with such viligance by both law enforcement and automobile engineers?

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1 reply
fjmanzari vancurren March 25 2014 at 6:41 PM

Most accidents that involve a fatality are given a very through investigation. Porsche sent it's people because that was a half a million dollar car they died in and Porsche has a reputation to protect. I don't know how they ruled out mechanical failure with the car burned as bad as it was

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I LOVE YOU JOANN March 25 2014 at 7:28 PM

drive fast. live fast. die fast.flap your wings in heaven fast.loved your movies . rest now.you'll be missed.

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slaghtrstyle March 25 2014 at 7:26 PM

Lets have Bieber and Zac Efron both go for a joyride in a ford pinto...

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pakabud March 25 2014 at 7:16 PM

Ironic that people mean th same thing - 90 miles per hour means th same thing - death 4 loved 1's. Tragedy but a lesson 4 us all

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genexer1 March 25 2014 at 7:21 PM

Like Porsche would admit there was a mechanical failure ... SMH

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Robert T. March 25 2014 at 7:26 PM

It is a shame that this is still in the news, reminding the family of their loss. It was an accident. I don't think the public needs to know anything else!

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jasnajanko801 March 25 2014 at 7:12 PM

wow really?! Speed caused it? And this is supposed to be a New news. Great! Love it. Keep on doing your job, police departement.

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flyingfortresb17 March 25 2014 at 6:31 PM

Gross stupidity in driving over the posted speed limit is always a factor. Just because they were action superstar film actors does not make them immune to death.

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1 reply
tmsbk flyingfortresb17 March 25 2014 at 6:37 PM

gross driving over the speed limit happens every day in some cities like los angles and even nj by drivers who think that posted speed is a guide not what they should drive

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1 reply
chypher tmsbk March 25 2014 at 7:02 PM

Tell me about it. as a truck driver I deal with this everywhere.

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joerivera411 March 25 2014 at 7:24 PM

The guys took a joyride on some empty industrial park roads lost control and crashed. I'm not gonna sit here and bullsh** you, I like exotic cars and if given the opportunity to have a good time with a close friend I would have probably taken it. Unfortunate that they lost their lives, but anyone of us can die at any moment doing anything. Enjoy life!

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micknc2 March 25 2014 at 7:10 PM

It seems both ironic and somehow immoral that the Fast & Furious movie franchise would continue after one of its stars was killed as a result of speed and fast cars trumpeted in Fast and Furious movies.

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3 replies
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