40-year-old actor Paul Walker, the star of the popular Fast & Furious movie franchise, has been killed in a car crash north of Los Angeles. Deputies responding to the report of a collision found a Porsche Carrera GT in flames on Saturday afternoon in Valencia, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Two people were in the car – Walker and a friend who was driving the vehicle – and both were pronounced dead at the scene. The actor’s death was pronounced by Ame Van Iden, Walker’s publicist. Walker’s Facebook page states that Walker was in the area in order to attend a charity event for his Reach Out Worldwide organization. Speed was one of the factors in the crash, the Sheriff’s Department says.
The Porsche hit a tree and a light pole and then burst into flames, according to the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. The fundraiser, which took place at a race car shop nearby, was intended to help to raise money for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Attendees tried to use fire extinguishers to put out the flames, to no avail.
“All of us at Universal are heartbroken,” a statement from Universal Pictures, which releases the Fast & Furious movies, says. “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 & Furious films, and to countless fans.”