Official: No mechanical issues in Walker car crash

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

LOS ANGELES -- Investigators have found no evidence that the Porsche carrying actor Paul Walker had mechanical problems before it crashed, killing the "Fast & Furious" star.

The investigation also ruled out debris or other roadway conditions as causing the car, a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, in which Walker was a passenger to slam into a light pole and tree.

Police said speed was a factor in the one-car crash in an industrial park about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

"We're looking at speed and speed alone," an official said.

The November 30 crash also killed the driver, Walker's friend and financial adviser Roger Rodas.

Rodas, 38, and Walker, 40, co-owned an auto racing team. Rodas also was a professional driver who competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races this year.

Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department have calculated a range of the speed at which they think the car was traveling. However, they won't disclose the number until Porsche engineers come to California next month in the hope of extracting information from onboard data collectors.

The official would not disclose the current speed estimate. It is calculated through a formula that uses factors including the arc of tire marks from the scene and how well the tires would grip the roadway, said Chris Kauderer, chairman of the California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists.

Though the car exploded in flames, its three data recorders survived and may produce information to pinpoint the speed. If they produce usable data, the recorders would be able to tell investigators if seat belts were fastened, air bags deployed and or Rodas hit the brakes before impact.

The official said sheriff's investigators also have enlisted the help of California Highway Patrol (CHP) accident reconstruction specialists who tested the brakes on the wrecked car and found that at least one of the tires was made in 2004. The CHP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"They were well out of the curve when they lost control," the official added. (AP)

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