Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker died in a car crash this afternoon when his friend lost control of a Porsche GT and collided with a street light.
The star’s representatives and official Facebook page confirmed his death this evening.
Walker, 40, was a passenger in the high-powered super-car when it spun out of control in Santa Clarita at 3:30pm today.
The LA County Sheriff’s department has confirmed that two people died in a collision at 3:30pm today, but no names have yet been released.
However, representatives for the actor have confirmed that Paul Walker was one of the two men who died this afternoon.
‘It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide,’ reads a Facebook update on Walker’s official page.
‘He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences. – #TeamPW.’
Walker was reportedly an investor in the Always Evolving auto shop in Valencia, California and was in the area for a car show to support the Philippines typhoon relief effort.
Witnesses at the crash scene posted video of the site on YouTube, showing debris from the crash and emergency workers cordoning off the area.
Photographs from the scene show a completely wrecked, burnt out shell of a car.
Friends of the star told a local newspaper that they ‘went through fire extinguishers’ in a futile bid to fight the blaze that engulfed the car after the crash.
‘We all ran around and jumped in cars and grabbed fire extinguishers and immediately went to the vehicle. It was engulfed in flames. There was nothing. They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried.’ Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Signal.
Friends at the scene said that Walker and his friend were taking the Porsche out for a joyride.
‘Him and his buddy, his brother in arms at heart just decided to joyride, take a spin. Something we all do. We’re all car enthusiasts. … We’re all here driving, enjoying each other, and God must’ve needed help,’ said Holmes, who said he was a friend of Walker.
‘When we saw Paul and Roger leave, Paul was the passenger in the vehicle. They both were experienced drivers.
‘This was just a tragic accident that happened on a joyride,’ said witness Jim Torp of Santa Clarita.
Walker rode the Fast & Furious franchise to stardom, starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters, beginning with the first film in 2001.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed Los Angeles-native brought California surfer good-looks and an easy, warm charm to the popular street-racing series.
‘All of us at Universal are heartbroken,’ Universal Pictures said in a statement. ‘Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans.’
The son of a fashion model and a sewer contractor, Walker grew up in a working class, Mormon Los Angeles household. The oldest of five siblings, Walker’s mother began taking him to auditions as a toddler. He was a child model beginning at the age of two.
Walker, the son of a fashion model mother and a sewer contractor father, began modeling as an infant, and starred in a Pampers commercial as a toddler.
Other roles include Brokedown Palace, She’s All That, Flags of Our Fathers and the Hurricane Katrina drama Hours, which is set to be released in December. Though his stardom didn’t make as much of an impact outside the Fast & Furious series, Walker continually drew praise from his co-stars and directors as a kind-hearted and eager collaborator.
And Fast & Furious proved unusually enduring. Released in May, Fast & Furious 6 was the most lucrative of them all, grossing more than $788 million worldwide.
‘No, @RealPaulWalker. No. No. No,’ tweeted actress Alyssa Milano. Walker guest-starred with her in the 80s comedy, Who’s The Boss? ‘Rest with the angels. You. Sweet boy. #beauty #love #RIP.’
Veteran actress Goldie Hawn said: ‘Our family mourns the loss of Paul. A very special Human being. Our prayers go his beloved family.’
Bring It On star Gabrielle Union said: This is awful. Awful. #RIPPaulWalker pls pray for his family, friends & fans. We’ve lost a great, laid back, sweet, cool man & father.’
The Wire actor Michael B Jordan said: ‘Man life is so short. People you care about can be here one min and gone the next Don’t take life for granted RIP Paul Walker.’
TV host Vanessa Lachey said: ‘I just heard and am in shock. Prayers to Paul Walker’s family. Life is precious, never take a day for granted. #RIPPaulWalker’
James Franco said: ‘Much love to paul walker. So sad. He gave a lot of joy.’
Others, including Mario Lopez, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Jack Osborne and DMX also tweeted their sorrow.