'Fast & Furious' star Paul Walker dies in crash
File-This March 21, 2013 file photo shows actor Paul Walker wearing a creation from the Colcci summer collection at Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A publicist for actor Walker says the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series has died in a car crash north of Los Angeles. He was 40. Ame Van Iden says Walker died Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. No further details were released. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person outside of Los Angeles. He was 40.
Walker's publicist Ame Van Iden confirmed the actor's death Saturday afternoon. A statement on Walker's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that speed was a factor in the crash.
Deputies found a Porsche Carrera GT engulfed in flames when they responded to a report of a collision in the community of Valencia, north of Los Angeles. Two people who were found in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.
The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported that the Porsche crashed into a light pole and tree and burst into flames. The fundraiser, to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan, took place at a nearby racecar shop. Attendees rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers to no avail.
"All of us at Universal are heartbroken," Universal Pictures, which has released the "Fast & Furious" franchise, said in a statement. "Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the 'Fast and Furious' films, and to countless fans."
His "Fast & Furious" co-star Vin Diesel posted a photograph of him and Walker arm-in-arm on Instagram with the message: "Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless."
Walker rode the "Fast & Furious" franchise to stardom, starring in all but one of the six action blockbusters, beginning with the first film in 2001. The blond-haired, blue-eyed Los Angeles-native brought California surfer good-looks and an easy, warm charm to the popular street-racing series.
Sheriff's deputies work near the wreckage of a Porsche that crashed into a light pole on Hercules Street near Kelly Johnson Parkway in Valencia, Calif., on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013. A publicist for actor Paul Walker says the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series died in the crash north of Los Angeles. He was 40. Ame Van Iden says Walker died Saturday afternoon. No further details were released. (AP Photo/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Dan Watson)
The son of a fashion model and a sewer contractor, Walker grew up in a working class, Mormon household in Glendale, Calif. The oldest of five siblings, Walker's mother began taking him to auditions as a toddler. He was a child model beginning at the age of 2.
Walker has said the early induction to show business wasn't to start him on a career path, but as a way to help provide for the family.