VALENCIA (CBSLA.com) — Even though Roger Rodas was an experienced race car driver, experts say the car that he and actor Paul Walker were killed in belonged on a race track and required special handling.
The investigation into the fiery crash that killed actor Paul Walker continued Monday, but investigators say they have backed off the possibility that a second car was involved in the accident.
Surveillance video obtained by “OMG! Insider” from a business across the street from where the fatal crash happened Saturday shows an explosion, smoke, and flames shooting about 20 feet into the air after the Porsche GT Walker was riding in crashed into a tree.
The video seems to dispel the theory that the Porsche, believed to have been driven by Rodas, was involved in a street race.
“I heard two loud noises. It sounded to me like the tire blew before the car hit the pole,” witness Jim Torp said.
The 2005 Porsche Carrera GT involved in the accident was one of only 1,300 produced that year, less than half of which came to the United States. The model can cost up to $500,000.
“It was for a very exclusive, very small subset of buyers,” said Mike Magrath, a car expert with Edmunds.com. Magrath has test-driven the same make and model of Porsche and said the car, capable of speeds over 200 mph, is difficult to drive and is intended for a race track.
“It’s pretty much just a race car barely re-disguised for the street,” Magrath said. “It’s got over 600 horsepower, two seats and it really is a tricky car to drive, and one that you really want to drive fast.”
Magrath says it could have been human error or a mechanical failure. Deputies say speed was a factor and are still investigating if something was wrong with the vehicle. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department investigators say speed was a factor in the crash.
“Bursting into flames isn’t a common thing for this car,” Magrath said. “But the severity of the accident, and how it looks like it’s in two pieces with a number of bits of carbon fiber, is actually very common for this car.”
Rodas purchased the car last spring, according to Autoweek. The car has changed hands, moving from owners in Beverly Hills, Texas and Florida, before returning to Always Evolving, Rodas’ car dealership that featured pricey, high-end vehicles. The company’s Facebook page says it’s “the source for all your automotive passions.”
Both Rodas and Walker were working on a fundraiser for typhoon relief in the Philippines at Rodas’ Valencia business the night of the crash.
Walker’s generosity is what his family wants him to be remembered for most.
“We would just ask that people give the family privacy right now to mourn and in his honor, in his name, go out and do something nice for somebody,” Walker’s half-sister, Amy Kaz, said.