Could it be that the Porsche in which Paul Walker was riding holds at least some of the blame for his tragic death?
While official investigations are focusing on speed as a key factor in the fiery car crash which took the life of 40-year-old Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker and his friend 38-year-old Roger Rodas on Saturday afternoon in Santa Clarita, CA, it appears that the type of car that was being driven that day could have played at least some role in the single-car collision. The car, a red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, crashed into a utility pole and exploded into flames, killing both men.
According to a memo obtained by TMZ, Porsche’s headquarters put out a document to multiple car dealers in the Midwest back in 2004, right before the Carrera GT was released to the public for sale. The memo stated that “the Carerra GT is as close to a race car as we will ever get.” The memo adds that the car also has all of the disadvantages of a race car, including the fact that drivers need to be very aware of what type of surface they are driving on. Race cars are designed for very smooth surfaces, like race tracks, and small variations in road height, such as dips, pot holes and seam heights, can create problems for drivers. The memo further adds that “this vehicle cannot drive over a Foster Beer can that is lying on its side.”
Given that Porsche took the time to warn their dealers to be careful about who they allowed to test drive it, citing its race car-like handling capabilities, public streets were probably not the ideal place to be driving it at high speeds.
Then, to make matters worse, was Walker’s reported love for speed. Even before he starred in the Fast and Furious franchise, it has been reported that he was something of an adrenaline junkie. “I’ve always been into cars,” he told an E! reporter back in May of this year. He further told the reporter that he had grown up with cars, visiting his grandfather’s shop. His grandfather was the first person to drive above 160 mph with the Ford Falcon, he said, which back then was “a big deal.” When he told the reporter that he was a “speed demon,” she asked him how fast he had gone before, to which he replied that he had previously driven at 197 mph, but it was driving him crazy that he hadn’t yet broken 200. He told her it was just a matter of finding the right car. In the same interview, he also said that, “I like going fast. And I like precision.”
While Paul Walker’s untimely death appears most likely to be blamed on high speed – and an argument could certainly be made that the incompatibility of his race-car like vehicle with the streets that he was riding on played a role in the accident – ultimately, no one or no thing can be blamed for the accident other than Paul Walker himself. His need for speed did him in just as surely as any other factor. Without his craving for the adrenaline rush of riding at high speeds in a well-made machine, he most likely would never have been riding in the car in the first place.
By Nancy Schimelpfening
Paul Walker Dead at 40: Speed a Factor in Crash That Killed ‘Fast and Furious’ Star – Chicago Tribune