Paul Walker’s name was synonymous with cars. A key cast member in the highly successful Fast & Furious franchise, Walker was a self-confessed “crazy car guy” who “always wanted to race”. However, the world didn’t anticipate the 40-year-old actor’s life ending whilst inside a vehicle.
On November 30, 2013, Walker was involved in a high impact crash in California whilst traveling in a Porsche Carrera GT with his financial advisor, Roger Rodas. Rodas, an amateur racer, was behind the wheel of the red Porsche when it collided with a concrete lamp post before spinning out of control into two trees, where is subsequently burst into flames. Rodas died of multiple trauma, while Walker lost his life to the combined effect of trauma and burns. The severity of the flames meant that both bodies were burned beyond recognition. Details of the crash have long been speculated upon, but an investigation concluded that the car’s speed and the age of the tires were the primary reasons for the crash. Walker’s tragic death prompted mourning across the globe, especially from Fast & Furious fans. But it was his teenager daughter, Meadow, who experienced the most pain. Looking for answers, Meadow placed blame with Porsche for her father’s death, claiming that the vehicle has several design defects, including a history of instability and the fact that the seatbelt placement can cause harm upon impact. It was her belief that the faulty seatbelt trapped her father in the vehicle, prompting him to be overcome by the flames. Initially Porsche denied any responsibility and blamed Walker himself in a statement that read: “The perils, risk, and danger were open and obvious and known to him, and he chose to conduct himself in a manner so as to expose himself to such perils, dangers, and risks, thus assuming all the risks involved in using the vehicle.” In April 2016, a US District Court Judge ruled in favor of Porsche in a separate court case opened by Roger Rodas widow, Kristine. However, this ruling had no bearing on Meadow’s case, or the case opened by Walker’s father, Paul III. In court documents, it was claimed that the seatbelt “snapped Walker’s torso back with thousands of pounds of force, thereby breaking his ribs and pelvis.” Thus, rendering him unable to escape the burning wreckage. Last year, Meadow, whose godfather is Walker’s Fast & Furious co-star Vin Diesel, was awarded $10.1 million from the estate of Roger Rodas in a wrongful death settlement. This week it was announced that her wrongful death lawsuit against Porsche has been settled after both parties came to a resolution. Both Porsche and 18-year-old Meadow have requested the dismissal of the case. Details of the settlement agreement is yet to be disclosed, however, court documents show that Paul’s father also settled his own lawsuit against Porsche. Meanwhile, Meadow’s fame is continuing to rise as the 18-year-old collects followers online, with 1.4 million people following the teen on Instagram. As to her future, it is unclear as to whether she plans to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue a career in acting, but if she does, she certainly has a promising career ahead of her! At the time of his death, Walker was filming Furious 7. The unexpected death threw production into turmoil as they planned a way to bring the movie to cinema screens without having to entirely rewrite the script. Luckily his brothers, who bear physical similarities to the actor, stepped in to fill in the elements of the film that Walker hadn’t yet filmed. When the film came out it was an emotional rollercoaster for fans, but mostly for the cast. Watch how they paid tribute to their friend and “brother” in this video:
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