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Medical examiners await dental records to identify actor's body

2013-12-03 07:35
Paul Walker
Los Angeles - Autopsy results for Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker could be released as early as Tuesday as medical examiners wait on dental records to identify the actor's body, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner said on Monday.

Walker, 40, who became a symbol of street-racing and car culture in his roles in the Fast & Furious franchise, was a passenger in a fiery one-car crash on Saturday in Santa Clarita, California, about 30 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

"We're waiting for dental records," Los Angeles County Coroner spokesman Edward Winter said. "The bodies are unidentifiable."

Media reports identified the driver of the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT that crashed into a utility pole and burst into flames as Roger Rodas, 38, a friend of Walker's who owned Always Evolving, an auto dealership and racing services company in Santa Clarita.

"Evidently both individuals were seen getting into the vehicle minutes before the crash," Winter said.

Walker and Rodas were both drivers for the Always Evolving racing team.

Neither the coroner's office nor Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department would confirm if Rodas was the driver of the car. Rodas also served as a financial adviser to Walker, the actor's spokeswoman, Ame Van Iden, said.

Sheriff Deputy Aura Sierra said the investigation into the crash, in which the department earlier said that speed played a role, should take two more days.

Always Evolving, which could not be reached by phone, posted a Twitter message:
Walker, who played supporting roles in 1998's Pleasantville and 1999's Varsity Blues, was in five of the six Fast & Furious films about illegal street racing, heists and organized crime, portraying law enforcement officer Brian O'Conner.

Fast 7 production delayed

Production of Fast & Furious 7, which began filming in September, has been delayed but will not be scrapped, industry trade publication the Hollywood Reporter said, citing sources.

The publication reported that Comcast Corp-owned Universal Pictures, the big-budget film's studio, and Fast 7 director James Wan spoke on Sunday about how to continue with the film following Walker's death.

A representative for Universal was not immediately available to comment on the status of the film, which is to be released on July 11.

The Fast & Furious franchise, which stars Vin Diesel, has grossed more than $2 billion at the global box office since its first film was released in 2001.

Walker stars in the Hurricane Katrina survival drama Hours, which will be released on Dec. 13, and also the crime drama Brick Mansions, which is in post-production and will be released next year.

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