This sounds like a bad joke, but unfortunately it’s not. “Fast and Furious” star Paul Walker is dead at the age of 40, killed in a car accident in Valencia, California earlier today. Given his status as one of the stars of the car-heavy “Fast and Furious” franchise, you might be tempted to think this is some bad joke, and at this point his fans can only hope that it is. But, unfortunately, it’s not.
Walker was a passenger in a friend’s car when the accident occurred, killing both of them around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Pacific Time, according to Variety. Cops responded to reports of a Porsche “engulfed in flames” at the scene. Though the police have yet to released the identity of the accident’s two victims, studios have already released official statements mourning the actor’s passing.
Walker’s Facebook page has also released an official statement confirming his death:
It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives. We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences.
Walker is currently in the middle of shooting the seventh installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, which is in-production in Los Angeles. You don’t want to start talking about something as trivial as a movie production when someone dies, but it’s certainly going to cause ripples throughout Universal’s very lucrative franchise.
Besides his role as former cop-turned-fugitive Brian O’Connor in the “Fast and Furious” series, Walker was also tapped to helm the reboot of “Brick Mansions”, along with a variety of other projects.
He is survived by his daughter, Meadow.