Actor Walker died from multiple injuries in crash, 'Fast 7' filming halted
By Eric Kelsey and Lisa Richwine
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Fast & Furious" actor Paul Walker died from multiple injuries in a weekend car crash, the Los Angeles County coroner said on Wednesday, as Universal Pictures suspended production of the seventh installment in its lucrative car racing film franchise.
Walker, 40, was a passenger in a fiery one-car crash on Saturday in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles, that also killed 38-year-old driver Roger Rodas.
The coroner said Walker's death resulted from "traumatic and thermal injuries." While the coroner did not elaborate, thermal injuries are heat-related and are commonly burns.
Universal, owned by Comcast Corp, said filming of the big-budget action movie has been put on hold for an unspecified amount of time as it decides how to continue production without Walker.
"At this time we feel it is our responsibility to shut down production on 'Fast & Furious 7' for a period of time so we can assess all options available to move forward with the franchise," Universal Pictures said in a statement.
The film, which began production in September, is currently scheduled to be released in theaters on July 11, 2014.
Rodas, the owner of a local auto dealership and racing services company Always Evolving and who was behind the wheel of the Porsche Carrera GT at the time of the crash, died of multiple traumatic injuries, the coroner said.
The coroner ruled that both deaths were accidents and said that the injuries occurred when the car struck a fixed object. Continued...