Paul Walker memorial expected to draw thousands

AP Photo/Nick UtA man views flowers and memorials at a roadside memorial at the site of the auto crash that took the life of actor Paul Walker and another man

AP Photo/Nick UtA man views flowers and memorials at a roadside memorial at the site of the auto crash that took the life of actor Paul Walker and another man

The sounds of high-performance car engines filled the air Sunday as fans, friends and car enthusiasts headed to the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita to pay tribute to Paul Walker at the site where the “Fast & Furious” actor died in a car crash.

The memorial, planned through social media, was scheduled to begin at noon, but people began arriving hours beforehand to leave flowers, candles and other tributes. Authorities expect several thousand people to attend.

Many arrived in cars built for speed, and the sounds of engines revving echoed close to where Walker and his friend died on Nov. 30. The event was expected to conclude Sunday evening with a cruise through the area 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Walker, 40, was killed when the Porsche Carrera GT he was riding in smashed into a light pole and tree and then burst into flames. The actor's friend and financial adviser, Roger Rodas, who was driving, also died. Authorities say speed was a factor in the crash.

The two had bonded over a passion for fast cars. They co-owned an auto racing team named after Rodas' custom car shop, Always Evolving, and Rodas, 38, drove professionally for the team on the Pirelli World Challenge circuit this year.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies planned to have a strong presence at the memorial. They encouraged attendees to obey all traffic laws, including not leaving memorial items in the roadway.

Many of the early arrivals parked in a nearby church lot, where they milled around and bundled up against chilly morning temperatures in the 40s.

Among those who turned out early was Edi Maya, a gardener who worked in Walker's neighborhood and said he chatted with the actor from time to time.

“I work next to his house every week, twice a week. Seeing those candles there, it's heartbreaking,” he told KABC-TV.

Walker was in Santa Clarita for a fundraiser his charity, Reach Out Worldwide, organized for victims of the recent Philippines typhoon. The event took place at Rodas' shop, and two stepped away for what was supposed to be a short drive in Rodas' car.

The limited-edition Porsche was previously owned by IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, who has said it could be difficult to drive.

Walker, the star of five of the six “Fast & Furious” movies, was the face of the franchise. He was making the seventh film in the series when he died.

Universal Pictures has shut down production while it contemplates how it might go forward without him.

CaliforniaCalifornia NewsFast & FuriousPaul WalkerPorsche Carrera GT

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A cyclist heads past an artistic sign onto Page Street, a Slow Street, at Stanyan Street near Golden Gate Park on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Push to make street closures permanent meets with resistance

Hastily thrown together during the pandemic, Slow Streets program now struggles to build support

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Most Read