VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — Friends and family are grieving the deaths of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas, who were killed Saturday in a fiery crash in Valencia.
Friends say car enthusiast Roger Rodas had a huge heart. Those who talked to KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper said they will remember the 38-year-old El Salvador native for being a loving family man.
He was married and had two young children, Hopper reported.
Walker and Rodas formed Reach Out Worldwide, a group of first responders who help people affected by natural disasters. They were holding a charity event Saturday — to raise money for people affected by the typhoon in the Philippines and to provide toys for kids who wouldn’t have presents around the holidays — when Rodas asked Walker to take a spin in his red Porsche.
Investigators believe speed was a factor in the single-vehicle crash, but it is unknown what caused the very experienced Rodas to lose control of the vehicle.
One friend told Hopper that Rodas was incredibly “humble.” He was the kind of person who loved his community and giving back. Rodas was considered something of a financial wiz and advised Walker on investments.
Said another friend, “He was a simple guy. He loves cars, he loves to drive. He’s such a family person, too. Nothing but love, all from the heart.”
Rodas and Walker also co-owned Always Evolving, a car dealership that featured pricey, high-end vehicles. The company’s Facebook page says it’s “the source for all your automotive passions.”
Also on the page, a heartfelt post: “Thank you all for your condolences and prayers while we mourn the loss of our loved ones.”
Hopper spoke to Rodas family members by phone and they asked for privacy at this difficult time.