Actor Paul Walker who shot to fame as the star of the street racing franchise, “Fast & Furious,” sadly and ironically died in a fiery crash in Santa Clarita on November 30, 2013. According to a CNN news report, the 40-year-old Walker was in the passenger seat of a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by a racing team partner, Roger Rodas. The Porsche went out of control, slammed into a light pole and burst into flames in an office park. Both Rodas and Walker were killed in the crash. Officials have said that high speed was a factor. They have ruled out the possibility of this crash being the result of a street race.
As of today, the LA county coroner has ruled that Walker died of traumatic and thermal injuries.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Walker’s young daughter, his family members, friends and fans. Walker’s entire family is struggling to come to terms with the deadly crash. Walker was recently Best Man at his brother’s wedding and had spoke to friends about working less so that he could spend more time with his 15 year old daughter. I offer my deepest condolences to them.
A Different & Dangerous Kind of Car
Experts say the Carrera GT is different from the average car on the street. First of all, it has a top speed of 208 mph, a very high-revving V10 engine and more than 600 horsepower. Experts say this is not a car for novices because it is a very hard car to drive. The car costs about $450,000. The engine is in the middle of the car, which means it is more agile and turns more quickly than a car with the engine in the front or the rear. The car also has no electronic stability control. That means that it is unforgiving with mistakes. Stability control can correct slides and keep the car from going out of control. The average person shouldn’t be driving this car and even with an “experienced” driver, like Walker and his friend, if you are not a professional, they are difficult to handle.
Officials say the crash could have been caused by human error or mechanical failure. While deputies agree that speed was a factor, they are still looking into whether there was something wrong with the vehicle. Surveillance video from a business across the street from where the fatal crash occurred showed an explosion, smoke and flames shooting about 20 feet into the air after the car crashed. Investigators say the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT involved in the accident was only one of 1,300 produced that year.
This crash is yet another example of how excessive speed on a public roadway can be extremely dangerous – even in the hands of a race car driver. It is indeed a relief to note that no other bystanders were injured or killed in this crash. I hope officials are able to determine how or why this crash occurred so that such tragedies can be prevented in the future and whether there are any failure issues/defects with the automaker.
A Dec. 11 TMZ report states the family of actor Paul Walker, who died in a fiery crash Nov. 30 in Valencia, believe that the speeding Porsche in which he was riding, hydroplaned on reflective plastic markers on the street just before the crash. TMZ reports that Walker’s family has been in touch with stunt experts who have visited the crash site and come back with a “solid theory.”
They say a speeding car that hits the plastic markers, also known as Botts’ Dots, will hydroplane causing the driver to lose control. It’s almost like driving on ice because a car going at 90 mph will lose traction after hitting a series of these Botts’ Dots, the experts say. Police still have not determined precisely what caused this tragic crash, but it appears that they are looking at the Botts’ Dots as a viable theory.
This will be a difficult theory for the family to prove considering that speed was a factor of the deadly crash. Had the car not been speeding, the Botts Dots would not be considered a factor at all. If it is determined that these little bumps on the roadway caused Walker’s fatal crash, his family members may have a claim against the city or governmental entity responsible for designing and/or maintaining that roadway, citing defective roadway design and dangerous condition of public property. Any such claim against a governmental agency must be filed within six months of the incident, under California Government Code Section 911.2.