Solemn news to start off this week, as reports came in early yesterday morning that Paul Walker, best known for playing the role of Brian O’Conner in six out of seven Fast & Furious films, has died in a car crash at age 40.
Walker, widely known for his generous charity work, was attending a car show and toy drive at the Always Evolving Performance Motors shop in Valencia, California, which Walker has business ties to . The event had been organized by his Reach Out Worldwide charity organization as a benefit for families left stricken by the recent devastating typhoon in the Philippines.
According to a witness report, Walker and “his buddy”, who is still remaining unnamed, decided to take a new Porsche GT out on a joyride. The unknown man was behind the wheel, and seemingly lost control of the car, hitting a lamp post at high speed, causing the sports car to explode in flames.
Friends at the event and employees of the shop heard the crash and rushed to the scene to assist. They tried put out the flames, with one witness saying that they “went through fire extinguishers”, but they were not successful reaching the two men who were trapped in the mangled wreckage. Both men were declared dead on the scene by emergency services personnel when they arrived shortly thereafter.
A look the first pic of the wreck shows the devastating condition the car was in.
It is uncertain what Walker’s untimely passing means for Fast & Furious 7 which is currently still busy filming, with production scheduled to move to Abu Dhabi in January. According to one report, most of the filming had already been completed for Universal’s blockbuster sequel with the cast and crew currently on holiday before returning for the final portion of the shoot.
As it was strongly hinted at in the past that Fast & Furious 7 would be the start of a new trilogy of films, much like the stories of the fourth, fifth and sixth films shared narrative throughlines, Walker’s death would certainly affect the plans for the franchise in a major way.
Universal, for whom the Fast & Furious franchise is currently their biggest and most profitable property, issued this statement in response to Walker’s death.
“All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the ‘Fast and Furious’ films, and to countless fans. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”
Walker is survived by his teenage daughter, Meadow.
Last Updated: December 2, 2013