How Did Paul Walker Pass Away? (Explained)

Paul Walker attends the Fast & Furious 5 photocall
(Photo by Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images)

 

Paul Walker was once one of the best-known actors in the Fast & Furious franchise, but his time was cut short when he was only 40 years old.

This Varsity Blues actor’s death was so sudden that it left his cast members and fans mourning every year, with most people choosing to remember and celebrate Walker’s life on his birthday and the anniversary of his death.

The impact that Walker had on those around him will continue to be remembered for decades to come.

 

How Did Paul Walker Pass Away?

Actor Paul Walker attends the Europe premiere
(Photo by Florian Seefried/Getty Images)

 

Paul Walker passed away from a car accident in which the Fast & Furious actor was riding with his friend who was driving more than 100 miles per hour in his Porsche Carrera GT.

His death was most likely caused by the major burns and trauma injuries that occurred when his vehicle hit a lamp post and a couple of trees and immediately went up in flames.

Sadly, Walker died alongside his friend and financial advisor, Roger Rodas.

Unlike Walker, Rodas’s death seemed to have been caused by the multiple traumatic injuries that he sustained in the crash.

Before the crash, Rodas had been driving the car at an unsafe speed while going eastbound.

Although managing to maintain his speed before the crash, something caused him to lose control of his vehicle.

This resulted in the car spinning slightly, altering its direction to a southeastern direction.

The Porsche first struck a sidewalk before striking a tree on Walker’s side of the vehicle and then hit a lamppost.

These collisions caused the actor’s Porsche to spin 180 degrees but continued on a chaotic path.

As the Porsche was continuing its trajectory easterly, the vehicle hit another tree on Rodas’s side and immediately went up in flames.

By the time the vehicle had stopped moving, there were scraps of the vehicle all over the road.

When the Los Angeles emergency response team arrived, the Porsche had been nearly split in half and was still on fire.

Both Paul Walker and Roger Rodas had experience with professional driving, but they couldn’t safely correct their course once their vehicle began to lose control.

The story of Walker’s death is a testament to the fact that speeding can lead to lethal results even for the most experienced drivers.

Walker was filming the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious when he died.

 

Did Paul Walker Have A Daughter?

Meadow Walker attends WSJ Magazine
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

 

Yes, Paul Walker had a daughter named Meadow Walker who was only 15 years old when her father suddenly passed away.

To help her feel connected to her father even after his passing, Walker keeps in frequent contact with the people who mattered most to him like his Fast & Furious co-stars.

Those who follow the young model on social media will be able to enjoy all the memorial posts she makes about her father, claiming that he is protecting and watching her from heaven.

She often lives her life by the advice he had given her while he was alive and is seen as being extremely similar to her father in personality.

In 2021, Meadow Walker married English actor Louis Thorton-Allen in a beachside ceremony in the Dominican Republic.

Although Walker would have preferred to have her father walk her down the aisle, she was grateful to have her supportive godfather Vin Diesel walk her down the aisle in Paul Walker’s absence.

After her father’s death, Meadow found herself staying closely connected to Diesel and his family.

Vin Diesel wasn’t the only Fast & Furious co-star to attend Meadow Walker’s wedding. Jordana Brewster was also in attendance.

At her wedding, Walker wore a simple, custom-made Givenchy Haute Couture wedding dress with a veil that went down the end of her back.

After the ceremony, the wedding party and guests changed into beach-safe clothing to enjoy an oceanside reception.

Meadow Walker is incredibly proud of her father and the legacy he left behind.

She has been known to go out of her way to respond to the letters she’s received from fans who feel her father’s work was impactful in their lives.

Walker has done an incredible job of keeping her father’s kindness alive through her own kind acts modeled after those of her father.

 

Was Paul Walker Married When He Died?

Actor Paul Walker

 

No, Paul Walker was not married and had never been married when he passed away.

The late Fast & Furious actor was dating Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, a relationship that the actor had been trying to keep private for years.

Walker was 33 years old when he began dating Pilchard-Gosnell, which would have made her only 16 years old at the time.

Many people speculate that the reason Walker wanted to keep their relationship is that his girlfriend was still a minor in high school when he first started dating her.

They had dated for seven years prior to his death in 2013 and claimed that Pilchard-Gosnell was the one he was going to marry.

Their relationship wasn’t the first person that the actor had dated someone underaged, with the first 16-year-old Paul Walker dated being Aubriana Atwell.

Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell was a student of UC Santa Barbara and refused to use her boyfriend’s fame to her advantage because she valued her independence and her own interests.

Walker once said in an interview that Pilchard-Gosnell was exactly his type.

Paul Walker appreciated how Pilchard-Gosnell loved the outdoors, her shy nature, and the fact that she was low-maintenance and preferred to not wear makeup.

Members of Pilchard-Gosnell’s family have stated that the couple had their high and low moments, but they were looking forward to spending their lives together for the long term.

Despite only being eight years apart in age, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell was incredibly close to Meadow Walker and often acted as a stepmother for her boyfriend’s daughter.

It was Pilchard-Gosnell who broke the news of Walker’s death to Meadow Walker.

Pilchard-Gosnell was so shocked and grief-stricken by Paul Walker’s death that she collapsed, but felt that she had to collect herself in order to offer proper support for Meadow Walker.

In 2014, she even began going to grief counseling.

 

Were Vin Diesel And Paul Walker Close?

Actors Vin Diesel (L) and Paul Walker
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

 

Yes, Vin Diesel and Paul Walker were incredibly close to one another, with Walker’s Fast & Furious co-star even being named as the late actor’s only child’s godfather.

Diesel often takes to social media to express his grief over the passing of his dear friend.

Vin Diesel still celebrates Walker’s birthday and usually receives some kind of supportive text message from Meadow Walker.

In 2019, the lead actor of the Fast & Furious franchise stated that he wished that he could be planning how to embarrass his friend for his 46th birthday rather than having to miss him.

Meadow Walker knew that the day would be difficult for her godfather, so she made sure to remind him that she loved him and was there for the actor.

Diesel has expressed multiple times that the kindness that Walker’s daughter has shown helped him grieve and heal.

Sometimes, Vin Diesel likes to post letters to his late friend as the caption of photos.

Diesel makes sure to inform Paul Walker of the steps that the Fast & Furious film franchise takes, believing that Walker is watching over his co-stars as they continue his legacy through the series.

Vin Diesel has been grateful for the way their film franchise put him and Walker together back in 2001.

As someone who had been a father longer, Walker was frequently giving his co-star parenting advice that Diesel still holds dear to this day.

The same daughter Walker gave Diesel advice for was his own daughter’s maid of honor.

Since his passing, Diesel and his partner, Paloma Jiménez have taken in Meadow Walker as their own and even named their youngest daughter Pauline after the late actor.

Jiménez and Diesel even make sure to have a birthday celebration with Meadow Walker, allowing the unique family to mourn and celebrate with each other.

 

How Did The Rest Of The Fast & Furious Cast React?

Tyrese Gibson, Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster at the Furious 7 World Premiere

 

The Fast & Furious cast is known for being close with each other, which was especially true as they all grieved the loss of Paul Walker together.

Even years after the actor’s sudden passing, his fellow cast members still take time to reminisce on the role Walker had played in their lives.

Rapper turned actor Ludacris had first begun working with Walker during the first sequel of the Fast & Furious franchise in 2003.

According to the rapper, Walker was the most selfless individual he had ever met.

On the anniversary of Walker’s death, Ludacris likes to remind his fans and those around him to support the work of The Paul Walker Foundation.

Ludacris was reminded by Walker of the importance of doing good acts every day and the importance of preserving the ocean.

Similar to Ludacris, Jordana Brewster chooses to preserve Paul Walker’s memory by asking her fans to donate to The Paul Walker Foundation’s efforts.

She also likes to remind people to donate to the organization on Giving Tuesday during the holiday season.

Tyrese Gibson and Paul Walker shared an incredibly close bond that mirrored the one seen between their characters in the Fast & Furious franchise.

Walker was one of Gibson’s closest friends and someone he knew always had his back.

Gibson first heard about Walker’s death at 6:30 pm on the day of the crash after receiving what the actor has described as “the worst phone call I’ve ever gotten in my life.”

The actor always requests that his fans pray for Walker’s family each year on the anniversary of his death and has been known to visit the site of the lethal car crash.

Like Vin Diesel, Gibson sees a lot of his late friend in Meadow Walker.

He’s always eager to see her when she stops by to visit her godfather.

 

How Did They Finish Fast & Furious 7 Without Paul Walker?

 Actor Vin Diesel arrives at the Premiere Of Universal Pictures' Furious 7
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

 

The production team behind Fast & Furious 7 was able to finish filming without Paul Walker by using a combination of unused footage from previous films and special effects.

At the time of Walker’s death, they weren’t even through with the majority of filming.

The storyline for the entire franchise had to be rewritten to allow the series to continue even after the flagship actor had passed away.

Of the 350 additional shots that needed to be done for Walker’s role, only about 90 of those shots used archived footage that had been taken from previous outtakes or shot for previous films in the franchise.

A total of 260 of the new shots were filmed using Paul Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, with the brothers physically acting out the role.

The special effects team then used computer-generated images to place the late actor’s face onto his brothers’ bodies.

Paul Walker’s face model was created by using his brothers’ faces as a base and then adjusting them to look as much like their brother as possible.

To get a proper reference for Walker’s face, the special effect team used footage from the previous films.

The special effects team struggled with making Walker’s face properly, but they knew that they had to get it right in every aspect.

Otherwise, the audience might see the unnatural face as creepy or unsettling.

Although the end product wasn’t a 1:1 ratio with Walker’s face, it was close enough to be convincing in 2013.

To replace the surviving Walker brothers’ voices, the sound editors had to put together a collection of sound clips from previous films that could be used in the rewritten scenes.

Although the Walker brothers were able to perfectly mimic their late brother’s mannerisms, they struggled to properly portray him in character.

 

Who Are Paul Walker’s Brothers?

Cody Walker with his brother actor Paul Walker
(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

 

Paul Walker was survived by his brothers Cody and Caleb Walker, alongside their sisters, Amy and Ashlie.

Although being a part of Fast & Furious 7 was difficult for the brothers, they have admitted that being in the film alongside their brother’s castmates was incredibly therapeutic for both of them.

Caleb Walker felt that being the body double for his late brother allowed him to better understand Paul Walker, especially since he was able to get to know his brother from the perspective of Paul’s closest friends like Tyrese Gibson and Vin Diesel.

Due to his busy schedule, Paul Walker wasn’t always able to connect with his brothers frequently.

By getting to know the people he spent most of his time with, Caleb Walker feels that he was able to get a unique feeling of closure following his brother’s passing.

In 2017, Caleb Walker and his wife Stephanie Walker welcomed their son Maverick Paul Walker to the world, named after the infant’s late uncle.

That same year, his brother Cody Walker also welcomed a new baby named Remi Rogue Walker.

Cody Walker was inspired to try his hand at acting after his experience on the set of Fast & Furious 7.

In 2018, Walker began starring in his first television series, Shadow Wolves.

Before scoring his own television series, Walker starred in USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage alongside Nicolas Cage in 2016.

He also starred in the 2018 war drama, The Last Full Measure, where he got work alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, and Christopher Plummer.

Cody Walker also serves as the CEO of his late brother’s disaster relief charity called Reach Out WorldWide.

Walker feels that keeping Reach Out WorldWide running is an important part of keeping his brother’s memory alive.

 

What Happened To Paul Walker’s Character?

Paul Walker
(Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

 

Paul Walker played Brian O’Connor in the Fast & Furious franchise before he passed away in 2013.

Although O’Connor had to be written out of the story, the production team didn’t want O’Connor to fall to the same fate as his actor.

Rather than having O’Connor die, the ex-law enforcement officer instead chose to retire from his work in the criminal world and decided to move to Miami.

The last moment featuring Brian O’Connor driving away into the sunset allowed the writers to give O’Connor the ending that they wanted for Walker.

This beloved character was mentioned in F8: Fate of the Furious, but O’Connor was brought back for a bigger role in the ninth installment of the film series.

During the barbeque scene, there is an empty seat at the table, and O’Connor’s classic Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R pulls into the driveway right before the credits begin to roll.

Fast & Furious director Justin Lin felt that it was incredibly important and impactful to keep Paul Walker’s character alive throughout the series.

Fans of the franchise have been begging nearly everyone in connection to the film to answer whether or not we’ll be seeing more from Brian O’Connor.

With computer-generated facial reconstruction becoming more advanced since they first used the technology and both Walker brothers willing to reprise their role as their late brother’s character, the likelihood of fans getting to see more from Brian O’Connor isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

After seeing what the latest version of this technology can do with both young Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher in The Mandalorian, Rogue One, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,the reconstruction of late or even younger actors has become nearly natural looking.

 

Who Now Runs The Paul Walker Foundation?

man thinking over isolated grey background

 

The Paul Walker Foundation is now run by Meadow Walker, who serves as CEO of the memorial foundation.

She is joined by Vice President and COO Brandon Birtell and Ben Bence, who leads their education and scholarship division.

Meadow Walker felt that it was her duty to continue the philanthropic work that her father started, including helping people become better educated and helping the world look for futuristic solutions to our international problems.

The foundation looks to award students ages 16 to 19 who are making a change in their community with scholarships to help further support the changes they are looking to make.

To apply for a scholarship, the applicant must write a 300-word essay about the impact they’re making and how they’re doing good for others.

These scholarships are free to sign up for and are awarded every year.

Some of the applicant winners have included Willa Reed, Maggie Seida, Chloe Brown, Shelby O’Neil, Mara Perez, Meg Kikkeri, Katie Ridgeway, Ailis Dooner, and even Ben Bence.

According to a quote from the late actor himself, “It’s about doing work I can be proud of.”

This is the basis of The Paul Walker Foundation, which looks for students who are proud of the work they’re doing for their local communities.

Those who want to support the work that The Paul Walker Foundation does can donate to the organization directly or purchase one of their memorial pins, which change regularly.

The 2022 pin features sunrise on the open water.

Meadow Walker’s work as CEO allows her to continue her father’s dream and change people’s lives for the better.

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