Autopsy blames impact and fire for actor Paul Walker’s death

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Paul Walker. Image courtesy Facebook.com

By Alan Duke

LOS ANGELES (CNN) — “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker initially survived a horrific car crash but died moments later due to a combination of injuries from the impact and the resulting fire, according to a coroner’s report.

The one-page preliminary report released by the Los Angeles County coroner’s office Wednesday listed the cause of the actor’s death as the “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.”

An autopsy concluded that Roger Rodas, who was driving the high-performance Porsche, suffered “multiple traumatic injuries,” but there is no mention in the report of fire being a factor in his death.

The coroner confirmed what many witnesses told investigators: Rodas was the driver in the crash; Walker was the passenger of the red Porsche Carerra GT that clipped a light pole and a tree before erupting in flames on a Southern California street Saturday afternoon.

The deaths were officially ruled an accident by the coroner.

A toxicology report, which could show if drugs or alcohol played a role in the accident, will be available in six to eight weeks, the report said.

Video obtained by CNN from a security camera posted on a building on the opposite side of the street from the crash suggests that the fire that engulfed the Porsche did not erupt until about a minute after the car crashed.

In the video, which does not show the car, black smoke is seen rising from the crash scene 60 seconds after the light pole and a tree fall. Smoke is faintly visible above the scene after one minute, followed by a heavy plume of black smoke after two minutes.

Production of Walker’s latest movie — the seventh installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise — will be shut down “for a period of time,” the studio said Wednesday.

“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.

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