Paul Walker’s name was synonymous with cars. A key cast member in the highly successful Fast & Furious franchise, Walker was a self-confessed “crazy car guy” who “always wanted to race”. However, the world didn’t anticipate the 40-year-old actor’s life ending whilst inside a vehicle.
On November 30, 2013, Walker was involved in a high impact crash in California whilst traveling in a Porsche Carrera GT with his financial advisor, Roger Rodas. Rodas, an amateur racer, was behind the wheel of the red Porsche when it collided with a concrete lamp post before spinning out of control into two trees, where is subsequently burst into flames.
Rodas died of multiple trauma, while Walker lost his life to the combined effect of trauma and burns. The severity of the flames meant that both bodies were burned beyond recognition. Details of the crash have long been speculated upon, but an investigation concluded that the car’s speed and the age of the tires were the primary reasons for the crash.
Walker’s tragic death prompted mourning across the globe, especially from Fast & Furious fans. But it was his teenager daughter, Meadow, who experienced the most pain.
Looking for answers, Meadow placed blame with Porsche for her father’s death, claiming that the vehicle has several design defects, including a history of instability and the fact that the seatbelt placement can cause harm upon impact. It was her belief that the faulty seatbelt trapped her father in the vehicle, prompting him to be overcome by the flames.
Initially Porsche denied any responsibility and blamed Walker himself in a statement that read: “The perils, risk, and danger were open and obvious and known to him, and he chose to conduct himself in a manner so as to expose himself to such perils, dangers, and risks, thus assuming all the risks involved in using the vehicle.”