(LOS ANGELES) — Actor Paul Walker, star of the Fast and The Furious movies, died in a car accident Saturday in Santa Clarita, Calif., his rep confirms to ABC News. He was 40.
Earlier on Saturday, Walker had made an appearance at Autocon, a car and toy show, where he helped collect toys to be donated to his charity foundation, one of the organizers of the event told ABC News. Later that afternoon, the LAPD confirmed that two men had died in a fatal car crash; his rep later identified Walker as being one of the two men. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
A statement on Walker’s official Facebook page reads, “It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide. He was a passenger in a friend’s car, in which both lost their lives.”
The statement continued, “We appreciate your patience as we too are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news. Thank you for keeping his family and friends in your prayers during this very difficult time. We will do our best to keep you apprised on where to send condolences.”
Walker’s co-stars expressed their deep condolences through social media. Vin Diesel who stars as Dom Toretto in the franchise tweeted Sunday morning, “My heart is hurting so sad. Paul walker was a good man. RIP my friend… Sorry to the Walker family.”
Walker’s co-star Dwayne Johnson also known as The Rock tweeted his condolences saying, “All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength..in his light. Love you brother.” Johnson starred alongside Walker as Luke Hobbs in Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6.
Tyrese Gibson, who plays Roman Pearce in the franchise, posted a picture of himself and Walker to his Instagram account stating, “My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real Father God I pray that you send clarity over this I just don’t understand My heart hurts it’s broken no one can convince me that this is real… Prayer warriors please pray real hard for his only child, his daughter and family… #HeartofAnAngel13YrsFamilyForeverWeJustCelebratedYour40thBirthday….. My God… My God… I can’t believe I’m writing this.”
Other celebrities also took to social media to honor Walker. Jessica Alba tweeted: “#RIPPaulWalker – he was a lovely person -so sweet and grounded. My heart goes out to his family.” Reese Witherspoon wrote on Twitter: “So sad to hear about Paul Walker. He was a pleasure to work with, a true gentleman and a humble soul. Prayers and love to his family.” And Olivia Wilde tweeted: “Heavy heavy heart tonight. Paul Walker was a genuinely good, sweet, kind, laid back, loving person. Sending much love to his family.”
Walker’s first major roles included the 1998 film Pleasantville and 1999’s Varsity Blues. In 2001, his career took off with The Fast and the Furious; he returned for the sequel 2 Fast 2 Furious, and was also on board for the franchise’s fourth, fifth and sixth installments. The seventh installment in the series is currently in production and has a planned release date of July of 2014.
US Weekly reports that Walker is survived by a 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jim Bennett, Deseret News