A Los Angeles County sheriff reported today that drag racing may have been a factor in Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker’s death Saturday. According to CNN, Sgt. Richard Cohen said that investigators received a phone call tip claiming that another car was at the scene of the accident that killed the actor. Walker had been riding in a Porsche GT with friend Roger Rodas when the latter lost control of the car and it slammed into a tree, killing both of them. Tire marks on the road near the crash site indicated the car was doing doughnut spins, though it’s unclear whether they’re related to Walker’s crash.
“Naturally, from an investigative standpoint,” Sgt. Cohen said, “we need to find out if that is one of the issues.”
The L.A. Sheriff’s Department also reported that speed played a factor in Walker’s death. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Department issued a statement that while it wasn’t sure how fast the vehicle was going, “speed was a factor in the solo vehicle collision.” CNN reported that a 45 M.P.H. speed-limit sign was knocked down by the Porsche.
The Los Angeles County coroner has not officially identified the remains of the people in the car wreck, according to CNN, but it plans to use dental records to identify Walker and Rodas today. This will officially confirm who was behind the wheel and who was in the passenger seat.
As a result of Walker’s death, film producers canceled the shooting of scenes for Fast & Furious 7 today. They did not discuss how Walker’s death would impact the project. Some of this week’s scenes were scheduled to feature Walker, who starred in all but one of the Fast & Furious movies. Later this month, shooting was planned to move to Abu Dhabi. The producers have not commented on how Walker’s death will affect the movie.
Most recently, Walker finished shooting a movie called Brick Mansions, which features Wu-Tang Clan member RZA and is set to come out in 2014. The Tribune reported that that film is currently in post-production. RZA wrote a song for Walker over the weekend, titled “Destiny Bends.”
Another film that stars Walker, Hours, is set to come out as planned in 15 select cities on December 13th, according to USA Today. The movie, which takes place during Hurricane Katrina, features Walker and Genesis Rodriguez as a couple in a New Orleans hospital, where a pregnant wife goes into early labor and the birth takes a tragic turn. Walker’s character and the couple’s newborn daughter then must face odds as the storm hits and the hospital is evacuated.
According to CNN, Walker, who was 40 at the time of his death, had recently told his father – also named Paul Walker – that he wanted to take time off from acting to spend it with his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow. “And then, boom, he got another movie,” the elder Walker told CNN affiliate KCAL. “He would say, ‘I don’t know what to do.'” His father also added, “I’m just . . . glad that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him. And he would say the same thing to me.”