Thousands of fans converged on Paul Walker’s Los Angeles crash site Sunday for a memorial to the “Fast & Furious” star who was killed when the Porsche in which he was a passenger crashed and caught fire.
The driver of the car, Roger Rodas, 38, was also killed when the car crashed after striking a light pole and a tree on Nov. 30 in Valencia, a suburb of Los Angeles. Rodas was Walker’s friend and was a professional driver.
An autopsy determined that Rodas was killed on impact, while Walker, 40, died possibly a few seconds after from the combined effects of the impact and the fire.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the crash, but they have said speed was a factor.
Many attendees at the memorial arrived in powerful, high-performance cars reminiscent of the ones that were such an integral part of the film series.
“For all the people on the racing scene, he was our John Wayne, our Batman, you know,” said Fausto Montana.
People began arriving hours before the scheduled noon start of the event. The Associated Press reported that mourners left flowers, candles, stuffed animals and other tributes.
“When I first heard that he died my heart and my mind went numb, because I grew up watching his movies,” said another mourner, Tania Rodriquez.
Edi Maya, Walker’s gardener, attended the memorial and said he was blessed to have worked for Walker.
“Some people meet him and some people get to see him personally, you feel it,” Maya told ABC station KABC-TV in Los Angeles. “I have to work next to his house twice a week. It is heartbreaking.”
Universal Pictures has halted production on “Fast & Furious 7,” the latest installment of the hit film franchise.
Shooting on the film began in September and had been planned to resume Dec. 2 in Atlanta. The film had been scheduled for release next summer.
“Right now, all of us at Universal are dedicated to providing support to Paul’s immediate family, and our extended ‘Fast & Furious’ family of cast, crew and filmmakers,” Universal said in a statement released Wednesday. “At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on ‘Fast & Furious 7′ for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise.”
Universal has pledged to donate a portion of the sales from the “Fast & Furious 6″ DVD and Blu-ray, on sale Tuesday, to Walker’s charityReach Out Worldwide.
Walker played Brian O’Connor, an undercover cop and federal agent turned wanted criminal, in five of the previous “Fast & Furious” films. He was absent from the “Tokyo Drift” spinoff movie.