Los Angeles County Sheriff’s traffic collision experts have determined the speed of the vehicle driven by Roger Rodas, that claimed his life and the life of Paul Walker, was between 80 and 93 Miles Per Hour (MPH) at the time the car impacted a power pole and several trees.
“Investigators determined the cause of the fatal solo-vehicle collision was unsafe speed for the roadway conditions,” said Commander Mike Parker, North (County) Patrol Division, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
An in-depth examination was conducted with the assistance of expert investigators from the California Highway Patrol - Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT).
MAIT investigators conducted a mechanical inspection of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT’s powertrain and exhaust, throttle and fuel system, electrical system, steering and suspension, brake system, tires and wheels, and airbag control modules. The inspection also focused on the Porsche's history, safety recalls, and repair records.
The mechanical examination revealed no pre-existing conditions that would have caused this collision. "During the examination, it was determined that an aftermarket exhaust system had been installed which would have increased the engine’s horsepower," said Commander Parker. The tires on the car were more than nine years old.
There is evidence that seatbelts were worn by both Mr. Rodas and Walker and that the airbags deployed for both the driver and passenger. "Toxicology tests on both men revealed that neither had used any alcohol or drugs," said Commander Parker.
The traffic collision happened at about 3:26PM on Saturday, November 30, 2013, at Hercules St. at Kelly Johnson Pkwy, which is very near the business park at the 28300 block of Rye Canyon Loop, Valencia, in the city of Santa Clarita. The posted speed limit in the area of the collision is 45 MPH.
No eyewitness contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to say there was a second vehicle and there is no evidence to indicate there was a second car involved in the collision. Investigators sought out eyewitnesses to what happened just prior to the collision, as well as to the collision itself. Security videos and photos from local businesses along with other evidence helped skilled investigators to determine the cause of the collision and that no speed contest was taking place.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s traffic investigators documented the scene extensively after the collision. This included writing a traffic report, photographing the scene, determining the collision’s area of impact and point of rest, measuring skid marks and location of debris, gathering physical evidence such as debris and the on-board car computer data, and examining the car itself to look for such evidence such as paint transfer to help determine whether or not it had impacted other objects or cars.
LA Sheriff’s investigators also consulted with experts from the Porsche and Michelin Corporations as part of the investigation.
The opinion of the Los Angeles County Coroner - Medical Examiner is that Mr. Rodas “died of multiple traumatic injuries. The manner of death is accident.” The opinion of the Los Angeles County Coroner - Medical Examiner is that the cause of death of Mr. Walker is “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries. The manner of death is accident.”
Redacted copies of the LASD and CHP traffic collision investigation reports are provided via the hyperlink at the bottom of this message.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station polices the City of Santa Clarita and the unincorporated communities of a portion of the Angeles National Forest, as well as Bouquet Canyon, Canyon County, Castaic, Gorman, Hasley Canyon, Newhall, Neenach, Sand Canyon, Santa Clarita, Saugus, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Sleepy Valley, Southern Oaks, Stevenson Ranch, Sunset Point, Tesoro del Valle, Valencia, Val Verde, West Hills and West Ranch:
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is the sole policing agency for 130 unincorporated communities in Los Angeles County, as well as 42 of the 88 cities in Los Angeles County who contract with the LASD to provide all of their police services. The California Highway Patrol documents traffic collisions on state highways/freeways and in unincorporated communities, while the LASD provides traffic enforcment and documents traffic collisions in the 42 cities which contract for policing services (www.lasd.org)
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