Paul Walker’s autopsy report was released Wednesday, painting a grim picture of the beloved actor’s final moments. CNN reported that Walker’s cause of death in the tragic car accident over the weekend was the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries. In other words, the “Fast & Furious” star was not killed on impact, but burned to death after the vehicle caught fire.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office completed the autopsies on both Walker and Roger Rodas on Tuesday, but the results were immediately placed on “security hold.” The preliminary results of the autopsies were not publicized until early Wednesday and were first reported by TMZ and CNN. The autopsies confirm that Rodas was the driver and Walker was the passenger.
It should be noted that the official identities of the two victims of Saturday’s fiery crash have not been released, although the two men in the vehicle are universally believed to have been 40-year-old Walker and his financial manager and friend Rodas.
The coroner’s office ruled the deaths of the two men an accident. Investigators are still waiting for the results of toxicology tests, which could take several weeks to complete.
"No information is to be released on either decedent at this time,” Lt. Fred Corral told Us Weekly on Tuesday. Corral said that placing an autopsy on lockdown is standard procedure, and typically lasts for a few days. "[It’s] a precaution to prevent information being released that had not been confirmed and to allow all media outlets that have requested notification the same opportunity at whatever information is released," Corral explained to E! News. He said there are a “series of checks and balances” the coroner’s office must follow before it can release the results of an autopsy report.
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Walker and Rodas lives were tragically cut short on Saturday when their vehicle, a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, crashed into a light pole in Santa Clarita, Calif., about 27 miles north of Hollywood. The accident occurred just a few hundred yards from where Walker had just left an event for his charity, Reach Out WorldWide.
Authorities believe speed played a role in the deadly crash, but investigators are still trying to determine just how fast the Porsche was going when it skidded off the road and crashed.