Autopsy: Paul Walker, Friend Suffered Trauma, Burn Injuries in Fatal Crash

Actor Paul Walker was alive, but likely unconscious, after the Porsche Carrera GT crash, but then died in the subsequent fire, coroner's officials confirm

By Jonathan Lloyd and John Cadiz Klemack
|  Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013  |  Updated 8:19 PM PDT
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A preliminary autopsy report shows actor Paul Walker survived the initial impact of the car crash but died in the resulting fire. John Cádiz Klemack reports from the crash scene in Santa Clarita for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

John Cádiz Klemack

A preliminary autopsy report shows actor Paul Walker survived the initial impact of the car crash but died in the resulting fire. John Cádiz Klemack reports from the crash scene in Santa Clarita for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013.

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Coroner Issues Preliminary Autopsy Findings in Walker, Rodas Crash

Actor Paul Walker and a friend suffered burn injuries and trauma in a fiery crash on a Southern California street that killed both men, according to details released Wednesday in an autopsy report. John Cadiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013.
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Actor Paul Walker and a friend suffered burn injuries and trauma caused by the impact in a fiery crash on a Southern California street that killed both men, according to details released Wednesday in an autopsy report.

Watch: Business' Camera Captures Crash | Vin Diesel Thanks Co-Star's Fans

The autopsies were completed Tuesday, but investigators placed a temporary security hold on information regarding the findings.

The cause of death for Walker was determined to be the combined effects of trauma and burn injuries in the fiery crash. The cause of death for Roger Rodas, confirmed to be the driver, was determined to be multiple traumatic injuries.

The injuries resulted from the car striking a "fixed object," according to the autopsy report.

The coroner confirmed that Walker was alive -- but likely unconscious -- after the crash, then died in the subsequent fire. Authorities told NBC4 there was evidence of smoke inhalation.

Video from a business across the street from the crash site released Tuesday shows the light pole and tree as they were impacted by the high-performance Porsche. About a minute passes before smoke can be seen in the video rising above a row of bushes that obscure the view of the car.

Results from toxicology tests are expected in about six to eight weeks.

Walker, the 40-year-old star of the "Fast & Furious" film franchise, and the 38-year-old Rodas, a financial planner and race car driver who founded a charity with Walker, were killed Saturday in the crash and fire on a Santa Clarita street about 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Walker and Rodas took what they said would be a brief drive away from a charity fundraiser and toy drive at Rodas' custom car shop.

Rodas is believed to have been the driver of the Porsche Carrera GT supercar, which crashed into a light pole and tree in the 28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop (map). Their bodies were found inside the charred wreckage after firefighters doused the fire.

Read: Shutdown on "Fast & Furious 7"

The crash remains under investigation, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has said investigators do not believe Rodas and Walker were racing another driver. Investigators have indicated that speed was a factor in the crash, which occurred in a 45-mph zone.

Since the crash, mourners and fans of Walker's movies have gathered at the site. Candles, notes, pictures, flowers and other items were left at the memorial.

In a statement, Universal Pictures said production on the upcoming "Fast & Furious 7" film will be shut down "for a period of time."

"We are committed to keeping Fast & Furious fans informed, and we will provide further information to them when we have it," the statement continued. "Until then, we know they join us in mourning the passing of our dear friend Paul Walker." 
 

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