'Speed and speed alone' behind deadly Paul Walker crash, source tells AP

The remains of the 2005 Porsche Carrera actor Paul Walker was a passenger in Dan Watson / Valley Signal via AP, file
The 2005 Porsche Carrera in which actor Paul Walker was a passenger exploded in flames but its three data recorders survived the fatal crash, officials say.

LOS ANGELES -- Investigators have found no evidence that the Porsche carrying actor Paul Walker had mechanical problems before it crashed, killing the "Fast & Furious" star. 

The investigation also has ruled out debris or other roadway conditions as causing the car in which Walker was a passenger to slam into a light pole and tree. 

The car, a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, is notoriously hard to handle. 

"We're looking at speed and speed alone," a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity. 

The Nov. 30 crash also killed the driver, Walker's friend and financial adviser Roger Rodas. 

Rodas, 38, and Walker, 40, co-owned an auto racing team. Rodas also was a professional driver who competed in 10 Pirelli World Challenge GTS races this year. 

Investigators with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department have calculated a range of the speed at which they think the car was traveling, but they won't firm up that number until Porsche engineers come to California next month in the hope of extracting information from onboard data collectors. 

The official would not disclose the current speed estimate. It is calculated through a formula that uses factors including the arc of tire marks from the scene and how well the tires would grip the roadway, said Chris Kauderer, chairman of the California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists. 

The sheriff's office has said speed was a factor in the one-car crash in an industrial park about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. A spokesman on Wednesday had nothing to add. 

Though the car exploded in flames, its three data recorders survived and may produce information to pinpoint the speed. If they produce usable data, the recorders would be able to tell investigators whether seat belts were fastened, air bags deployed and whether Rodas hit the brakes before impact. 

Because the car is so rare, investigators will need Porsche's help to retrieve the data. A spokesman for the car company declined to comment. 

The official said sheriff's investigators also have enlisted the help of California Highway Patrol accident reconstruction specialists, who tested the brakes on the wrecked car and found that at least one of the tires was made in 2004. The CHP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The official told AP that the Porsche appeared to have negotiated a curve in the road successfully before crashing. 

"They were well out of the curve when they lost control," the official said. 

  • Slideshow Photos

    Image: US actor Paul Walker dies

    Paul Walker, 1973-2013

    The star of the "Fast & Furious" film franchise died in a car accident on Nov. 30, 2013. He was 40.

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    Paul Walker -

    Actor Paul Walker, 40, was killed in a car accident on Nov. 30 in the Los Angeles area. In this photo, he posed for photographers while promoting the second film in the "Fast & Furious" movie franchise, "2 Fast 2 Furious," in 2003.

    Emilio Naranjo / EPA
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    MTV Movie Awards -

    Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster and Michelle Rodriguez, from the cast of "Fast & Furious" present the award for breakthrough performance at the MTV Movie Awards in Sony Pictures Studio Lot in Culver City, Calif., on April 14, 2013.

    Jordan Strauss / Invision via AP
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    On the runway -

    Walker models Colcci's 2013/2014 summer collection during Sao Paulo Fashion Week on March 21, 2013.

    Filipe Carvalho / Reuters
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    Sixth film -

    Jordana Brewster and Walker are seen in a scene from 2013's "Fast & Furious 6."

    Giles Keyte / Universal Pictures
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    In Rio -

    Walker and "Fast & Furious" co-stars Vin Diesel and Tyrese Gibson pose at the world premiere of "Fast Five" at the Cinepolis Lagoon theatre in Rio de Janeiro on April 15, 2011.

    Sergio Almeida / Reuters
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    Action scene -

    Walker and Diesel in a still from 'Fast & Furious 5' in 2011.

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    Baseball fan -

    Walker attends a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Sept. 14, 2011.

    Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images
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    With Leno -

    Walker laughs during an interview with "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno on May 2, 2011.

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    Hang loose -

    Walker poses while promoting "Fast and Furious 5" in Rome on April 29, 2011.

    Andrew Medichini / AP
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    Posing with fans -

    Walker attends the "Fast & Furious 5" premiere at UGC Cinema in Rome on April 29, 2011.

    Ernesto Ruscio
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    L.A. lights -

    Walker attends the premiere of "Fast & Furious" in Los Angeles on March 12, 2009.

    Phil McCarten / Reuters
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    On MTV -

    Walker appears with host Vanessa Minnillo during MTV's "Total Request Live" show at the MTV Times Square Studios in New York on Feb. 14, 2006.

    Jeff Christensen / AP
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    Best kiss -

    Actress Zhang Ziyi and Walker present the award for Best Kiss at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on June 4, 2005.

    Fred Greaves / Reuters
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    Posing for press -

    Tyrese Gibson and Walker, stars of "2 Fast 2 Furious," pose at the film's premiere in Los Angeles, on June 3, 2003.

    Fred Prouser / Reuters
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    Thanking fans -

    Diesel and Walker accept their award for Best On Screen Team for their roles in "The Fast & the Furious" during the 2002 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on June 1, 2002.

    Fred Prouser / Reuters
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    For Mom -

    Walker photographs the audience for his mother, who was unable to attend the event, during the 5th Annual Hollywood Film Festival, on Aug. 6, 2001 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Walker was presented with the Breakthrough Male Performance Award.

    Reuters
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    'The Skulls' -

    In 2000, Walker starred with "Dawson's Creek" alum Joshua Jackson in "The Skulls," a thriller about a college secret society.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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