The 40-year-old ‘Fast & The Furious’ star passed away when the red Porsche Carrera GT, in which he was a passenger in with Roger Rodas, collided with a tree during a car show in Santa Clarita, California, that was organised to raise funds for victims of the recent typhoon in the Philippines and tornado in Indiana.
Jim Torp, who attended the event and knew Roger, told People.com that he did not think the duo were driving dangerously.
He said: “Roger was definitely behind the wheel. Roger slowly drove it out – he didn’t take off recklessly. There were children around, after all. They were only gone for five or ten minutes and never came back.”
He added: “It was clear the car had hit two trees then finally hit a street lamppost. Parts of the car were strewn everywhere on the street, as far as 150 feet. I didn’t see any skid marks. Where the car had crashed was on a long straightaway. How fast they were going, I don’t know.
“Roger was not a reckless guy. He was a family man. He has a wife and two young children. He never did anything careless.”
A statement by the Los Angeles County sheriff’s previously suggested “speed was a factor” in the accident but Lt. John Rush of the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station has since clarified: “It looks like speed could’ve been a factor, but we haven’t made an official determination for the cause of the accident, which will take some time.”
Paul is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow, who is said to be “very upset” and was present at the fundraiser.