SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Actor Paul Walker, best known for starring in the “Fast and Furious” film franchise, was one of two people killed Saturday in a single-vehicle crash in Santa Clarita.
Walker was 40.
Walker was a passenger in the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that crashed into a tree and then a light pole before bursting into flames.
Authorities said the crash occurred around 3:30 p.m. in the 28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop in Valencia.
Officials said when deputies arrived at the scene, they found the vehicle fully engulfed in flames.
After the Los Angeles County Fire Department extinguished the blaze, two victims were found inside. Both Walker and the other passenger were declared dead at the scene.
Saturday evening, the actor’s Twitter and Facebook accounts confirmed his death.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo said that friends heard the crash and tried to put out the flames.
The LA County Sheriff’s Traffic Services Detail is investigating the cause of the accident.
Walker, born Paul William Walker IV in Glendale, California September 12, 1973, started acting in his teens.
He appeared in a series of TV shows, usually playing the hunk or lunk, in shows like “Charles in Charge,” “Highway to Heaven,” “Touched by an Angel,” “Who’s the Boss?” and “Diff’rent Strokes.”
In 1992, he won a recurring role on CBS’ “The Young and the Restless” and briefly became a daytime heart throb playing Brandon Collins.
His movie career took off in 2001 when he was cast in the first “Fast and Furious” movie. He played Brian O’Conner.
That same year, PEOPLE Magazine took note, naming the blond, blue-eyed 6’2” actor one of the “50 Most Beautiful People” in the world.
The “Fast and Furious” franchise spawned six sequels with “Fast & Furious 7” currently filming. (That movie is due out July 2014 (according to the imdb.com) and it is unclear if Walker had completed his work on the film.
While Walker made a relatively low $1 million (by film standards) for starring in the first “F&F” by the third one his salary was upped to more than $7 million per picture.
The actor’s next film, “Hours,” a drama about Hurricane Katrina, is due out Dec. 13.
Walker’s other credits included “Varsity Blues,” “Into the Blue,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Eight Below” and “Joy Ride.”
Walker reportedly had two homes – one in Huntington Beach and another in Santa Barbara. He reportedly housed several pricey cars in a garage/ car shop in Santa Clarita known as “Always Evolving.”
Today, Walker and the shop were hosting “Reach Out Worldwide,” a charity event raising money for victims of the typhoon in the Philippines and a toy drive for needy kids for the holidays.
Friends told Fajardo a good friend named Roger came by the event with his new Porsche and asked Walker if he wanted to take a spin.
Officials said speed was likely a factor in the crash.
A grieving friend also told Fajardo that he and others tried desperately to douse the flames going through as many as five fire extinguishers.
Walker had a child with a former girlfriend. Daughter Meadow Rain was born in November 1999.