The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

National News

March 26, 2014

Investigators: Unsafe speed caused Walker crash

LOS ANGELES — The Porsche carrying "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was traveling up to 94 mph when it went out of 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 driven by Roger Rodas slammed into a light pole with a 45 mph speed limit sign and burst into flames. Walker and Rodas died at the scene.

Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and California Highway Patrol concluded that unsafe speed, not mechanical problems, caused the Nov. 30 crash, the sheriff's department said Tuesday.

Based on post-crash calculations, accident reconstruction specialists with the Highway Patrol believe Rodas was driving his 2005 Porsche Carrera GT between 81 mph and 94 mph, according to their investigative report. The CHP declined comment.

The Associated Press reported in December that investigators had found no evidence that the car had mechanical problems and had 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.

"The results of the investigation show that, according to all the available evidence, this crash was caused by dangerous driving at speeds much too high for the road in question," Porsche said in a written statement. "We stand by our Carrera GT and by the investigation."

The conclusion about the speed was based on a "yaw" mark that one of the car's tires 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.

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