Everyone who saw the images of the wreck that killed actor Paul Walker in November could likely imagine the crash itself was horrific. Reading the Los Angeles coroner’s 15-page reconstruction of the incident, though, is much more harrowing than we had imagined.
The report concluded that Walker and racing teammate Roger Rodas were traveling in excess of 100 mph when Rodas, the driver, for unknown reasons lost control of the Porsche Carrera GT the two were riding in.
“[The vehicle] began to travel in a southeast direction,” the coroner’s report said, according to CNN. “The vehicle then struck a sidewalk and the driver’s side of the vehicle struck a tree and then a light post. The force of those collisions caused the vehicle to spin 180 degrees, and it continued to travel in an easterly direction. The passenger side of the vehicle then struck a tree and the vehicle burst into flames.”
Apparently, the two men did not live long after the Porsche caught fire.
The report concluded that Walker likely died before the car was full engulfed in flames, based upon the “scant soot” found in Walker’s trachea. Walker was reportedly in a “a pugilistic stance. His right wrist was fractured and his left arm was fractured,” which would indicate that he was defensively bracing for impact. Walker suffered fractures of his left jawbone, collarbone, pelvis, ribs and spine, the report said.
As for Rodas, he “rapidly died of severe blunt head, neck and chest trauma,” according to the report. He, too, was in a protective stance at the time of impact.
Although Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department met with Porsche engineers to review the onboard data recorder, the coroner’s report did not indicate whether Walker and Rodas were wearing seat belts.
We at Digital Trends were all truly and deeply saddened by Walker and Rodas’ premature passing. Imagining in our minds that terrifying incident, though, has made it that much harder to swallow.
Hopefully, however, Walker’s passing can stand as a stark reminder to all of his fans that, as fun as street racing movies might be to watch, such stunts should be kept on the track and off public motorways.