Car kept stalling before Walker's crash
THE Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says speed was a factor in the one-car crash that killed Fast And Furious star Paul Walker and a friend in Valencia, Santa Clarita, about 48km north-west of downtown Los Angeles.
Deputies found a 2005 red Porsche Carrera GT engulfed in flames when they arrived on Saturday afternoon.
According to entertainment-news website TMZ, the actor, 40, who made his name in a movie franchise about car racing, may not have got into the car that took him to his death if it had not been acting up moments before the crash.
Sources connected to former race-car driver Roger Rodas, 38, who had been driving, said he had been watching one of his employees try in vain to back the car into his car shop, but it kept stalling.
He then decided to take matters into his own hands and took the wheel, before Walker, saying he hadn't taken a spin in the Porsche yet, decided to hop in the passenger seat.
Walker and Rodas had attended a fund-raiser benefiting victims of a recent typhoon in the Philippines.
Entrepreneur Bill Townsend, who attended the event, told AP Radio that Walker appeared very happy at the fund-raiser.
"He was smiling at everybody, just tickled that all these people came out to support this charity," Mr Townsend said.
"He was doing what he loved. He was surrounded by friends, surrounded by cars."
On Sunday, fans of Walker gathered to leave flowers, candles and memorabilia from the Fast And Furious franchise at a makeshift memorial created at the site.
Though the cast had been taking a break from shooting the seventh instalment of the Universal Pictures series, production had begun in September. While much of the film has been shot, it is incomplete, reports said.
Universal has not yet said what it plans to do with the movie, which is currently slated for release in July next year.
But it released a statement on Walker's death, saying: "All of us at Universal are heartbroken.
"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 (films), and to countless fans."
Deputy sheriff Peter Gomez said investigators are working to determine how fast the car was travelling and what caused it to go out of control, including whether the driver was distracted or something on the road prompted him to swerve.
Walker's last works include the upcoming Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, which Lionsgate's Pantelion Films is set to release in the United States next Friday.
He also stars in Brick Mansions, a remake of the French action film, District B13. It is slated for release next year.