A tribute to deceased actor Paul Walker has been viewed more than 1.3 million times since Universal Pictures posted it on YouTube on Wednesday, using the branded account of the “Fast & Furious” series. Walker died in a car crash in Santa Clarita, Calif. on Saturday, and his loss has been mourned by his fellow actors and many admirers.
Walker was killed while riding in the passenger seat of a 2005 Porsche when the car left the road, collided with a pole and a tree, and burst into flames. The driver, Walker’s friend Roger Rodas, was also killed. According to an autopsy, Walker died of the “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries,” and Rodas died of “multiple traumatic injuries.”
Authorities still haven’t determined why Rodas lost control of the car, but they believe that speed was a factor in the crash. They’ve also ruled out a previously reported theory that leaking fluid might have accounted for the loss of control and the fire, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Residents of Puerto Rico, where Walker filmed the fifth installment of the “Fast & Furious” series, were particularly moved by his death:
Puerto Rico police have issued more than 100 tickets to drivers who organized a caravan to honor “Fast & Furious” actor Paul Walker and created massive traffic jams across the island’s capital. . . .
Police traffic coordinator Jorge Hernandez told reporters Wednesday that officers issued at least 72 speeding tickets and detained six people suspected of drunk driving.
He said drivers late Tuesday closed down a tunnel in San Juan and a bridge near Puerto Rico’s main international airport. He said two main highways also became heavily congested.
Walker died Saturday in Los Angeles after a car he was in crashed and exploded in flames.
The widely viewed tribute is a retrospective of the “Fast & Furious” films so far. “The cast of the Fast & Furious franchise was extremely close, as was reflected in the on-screen chemistry that helped make the action series so successful,” writes People’s Alex Heigl, explaining why so many viewers have found the studio’s compilation moving.
Walker may have been best known for his role as Brian O’Conner in the series, but “Fast & Furious” was only a part of his career. He stars in “Hours,” to be released next week, as a father who must care for his newborn daughter in a derelict New Orleans hospital in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Universal has indefinitely halted production of the seventh “Fast & Furious” film, which had been scheduled for release in July and which Walker and the rest of the crew were in the middle of shooting at the time of his death.
See images of other celebrities who have passed away this year in the gallery below.