A coroner has finished his examination of the body of Paul Walker, who tragically died in November of 2013. His report was released on Friday, detailing his beliefs based upon examination of the body. One of those beliefs is that the car Walker was traveling in, at the time of the crash, was going at least 100 mph.
The Los Angeles coroner explained in the report that it was unlikely either victim survived long after the crash. Due to the speed, at which it hit the tree and light post, the car exploded.
Walker was not the driver in the high-speed ride. His friend and racing partner, Roger Rodas, was at the wheel of the car. The exact reason for the crash is still unknown. Somehow, Rodas lost control of the vehicle, causing it to spin around. It struck the sidewalk, before hitting a tree and then a light post on the driver’s side. After turning 180 degrees, the car continued moving and hit another tree on the passenger’s side, before going up in flames.
Footage of the crash shows that it took about a minute for the car to explode after hitting the final tree. However, the footage does not actually show the car. Black smoke can be seen, drifting in from off-camera, so the fire may have started sooner.
Questions for the coroner centered around Walker’s cause of death. Before determining that the car was traveling at around 100 mph at the time of the crash, the coroner focused on how the The Fast & the Furious actor died.
There was evidence of black smoke in the 40-year-old’s trachea; for it to be there, it would suggest that Walker was not breathing at the time. This means he died before the car exploded. The coroner decided that multiple traumatic injuries were the cause of death for both Walker and Rodas.
Walker suffered fractures to his jaw, right wrist, left arm, collarbone, pelvis, back and ribs. The body was also badly burned, due to the flames during the explosion. Rodas’ cause of death was due to the severe blunt trauma to the head, chest and neck. The trauma to the head led to a fractured skull.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department sent investigators to determine the reason for the car crash. The investigators worked with Porshe to check the on-board computer system. This would help to assess the speed the car was traveling at, along with information regarding seat belts, air bags, and other important data.
There has been no confirmation from the coroner over the use of seat belts.
Walker and Rodas were in a Porshe – a vehicle that is notoriously challenging to drive. The pair would have known this, which has led to questions over how Rodas lost control. The 2005 Porshe Carrera GT does not have the stability management system included, like many other models.
The coroner used the injuries to determine that Walker and Rodas were traveling at around 100 mph, if not more, at the time of the crash. Family, friends and fans will be relieved to know, though, that they did not suffer too long with their injuries.
By Alexandria Ingham