EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s a complete lie!’ Paul Walker’s heartbroken sister angrily denies star was drag racing before his fiery death – as father and brothers comfort each other at family home
- Ashlie Walker says the ‘irresponsible’ rumours ‘makes our grief worse and more painful’
- She hits out as police today say they have received eyewitness statements that the sportscar Paul and friend died in was ‘travelling alone at a high rate of speed’
- Fast & Furious actor’s father Paul Snr weeps outside family home with star’s brothers and sister-in-law
- Family say they are being helped by their Mormon faith, adding: ‘Paul will be the biggest angel in heaven’
- Paul was best man at his brother’s wedding just weeks ago
The heartbroken sister of Hollywood star Paul Walker today revealed her family has been left devastated by ‘lies’ that the actor died while drag racing.
Ashlie Walker, 37, told MailOnline the Fast & Furious star and his good friend Roger Rodas – who was at the wheel of a Porsche when they crashed in Los Angeles on Saturday – were NOT involved in any speeding competition.
Breaking her silence, Miss Walker said: ‘They were absolutely not racing, that’s a complete lie. It hurts us when we hear these lies and it makes our grief worse and more painful.
‘These are irresponsible allegations and people are trying to make out speed and racing was the reason for his death when it was just a terrible accident.
Fans have travelled to the scene and held a candlelit vigil in memory of the actor. Paul Walker’s sister Ashlie has today rubbished rumours that the accident was the result of a street race
Aftermath: The damage caused by the crash is clearly visible on a nearby tree, left, while fans have begun to scour nearby foliage for carbon fibre splinters from the car which were cast into the surrounding area
She spoke out as her father, Paul Walker Snr, broke down and wept alongside the actor’s younger brothers, sister-in-law and uncle at the family home today – as a close family member said they are being helped through the tragedy thanks to their Mormon faith.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Cohen had told CNN that authorities received a phone call tip on Sunday suggesting that another car was at the scene when the Porsche slammed into a light pole and burst into flames. The crash site was reportedly a popular site for drag racing.
But today Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station traffic investigators ruled out a second vehicle at the crash – and said they have received eyewitness statements that the sportscar was traveling alone at a high rate of speed.
An angel: A close Walker family member said they were being helped by their Mormon faith – adding: ‘Paul will be the biggest angel in heaven’. Sister-in-law Stephanie hugs Paul Walker Snr today
‘Irresponsible allegations’: Paul Walker’s sister Ashlie today said reports the Fast & Furious star had been racing before his death was a ‘complete lie’, saying they made the family’s grief all the more painful
The probe now centers on the speed of the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, driven by Paul’s racing team partner and friend Roger.
Indeed, as a security tape put up on TMZ shows the massive fiery moment of impact – and the website reports: ‘There appears to be no other cars either immediately in front of or behind the Porsche at the time of the crash.’
Paul was one of four children to Paul Snr and Cheryl Walker, who are divorced. He leaves sisters Amie and Ashlie, and brothers Caleb, 36, and Cody, 25.
‘Paul will be the biggest angel in Heaven; he had the biggest heart on earth…We were all very proud to call Paul a son or brother’
The actor was best man to Caleb when he married his wife Stephanie just over a month ago in California and poignantly, stunning pictures show him raising a glass to the beaming newlyweds at their wedding at the Dove Canyon Country Club.
A close family member told MailOnline the family were trying to come to terms with Paul’s death with help from their Mormon faith – and said he would be ‘the biggest angel in heaven’.
The family member said: ‘Paul was a wonderful man and the best person you could ever meet. We are all totally distraught and beside ourselves with grief.
‘We can gain hope from this tragic accident through our strong Christian background and faith. We are grateful to be surrounded by such loving friends and family that have been praying for us and will be forever by our sides.
‘We seek comfort in their love and our faith. We definitely believe that Paul has gone to a better place and is now with our heavenly father.
‘We have a strong Mormon faith and although Paul wasn’t practicing at the time, he always had a very strong Christian faith.’
The source added that Paul’s 15-year-old daughter Meadow, whose mother is the actor’s ex-girlfriend Rebecca Soteros, was grieving and surrounded by family, adding: ‘Meadow will continue to be surrounded by those who love her.’
Meadow only recently moved to Los Angeles to live with her father after being brought up in Hawaii by her mother – and in one his last interviews given just two weeks ago, he called her ‘the best thing I have right now’.
Speaking to Salon magazine, Paul, who was filming Fast & Furious 7 at the time of his death, revealed he was ‘torn’ between work and his family, admitting: ‘I’m excited for the work. My daughter is 15. I go home every weekend.
‘She’s the best thing I have right now. It’s a real healing time for both of us, so it’s finding the right balance. You can reinvent yourself, but inside, there’s truth to the noise. I may miss out on the best moments of my life, so it’s maintaining the balance. I don’t have to work if I don’t want to, but I love the work.’
He added: ‘I don’t care what it is in life: listen to your heart. If you do, no matter what, you win. Stay true to yourself. Don’t listen to noise. Stay in the game and listen to your heart. I’m fortunate in that sense. I don’t live in regret, but I would have realized a lot more of real substance if I heard the meter not the noise.’
This afternoon, police continue to probe the fatal crash. An update released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed they were looking at the on-board car computer data which may indicate the rate of speed and examining the car itself look for evidence such as ‘paint transfer’to see whether it had impacted other objects or cars.
The statement read: ‘Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station traffic investigators are continuing to document the investigation and have received eyewitness statements that the car involved was traveling alone at a high rate of speed.
Blaze: Paul Walker was a passenger in a Porsche on Saturday when he lost his life after the sportscar crashed and turned into a fireball
‘No witness has contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to say there was a second vehicle. The posted speed limit in the area of the collision is 45mph.’
The family member said: ‘We absolutely deny that Paul was speeding or that the accident had anything to do with racing. We had heard these reports on the TV and Internet, but we have been told by friends who were on the scene that there was absolutely no other vehicle involved and there was no speeding. It’s upsetting to hear these reports. It’s like they want to blame speed and Paul.
‘We are all in shock. This is the first stage of grief and we’re finding it hard to understand it, no one can quite believe it, Meadow is like all of us in this regard.
‘It’s hard to conceptualise that it’s actually happened, that it’s real, as it doesn’t feel like it. She will be continued to be surrounded by family and gain comfort in faith.’
‘Through our religion, we believe in Jesus Christ and that people don’t just die but they live on in Heaven. Paul will be the biggest angel in Heaven; he had the biggest heart on Earth.
‘He always made sure the family wanted for nothing. He always looked out for everyone. He made so many people who weren’t members of the family included and loved as much as family. That’s the type of guy he was. We were all very proud to call Paul a son or brother.’
Meanwhile, Paul’s sobbing dad Paul Snr said: ‘I’m just glad, that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him. And he would say the same thing to me.’
Describing how friends and relatives had rallied around to support the family in their time of grief, he added: ‘You can’t beat friends at a time like this. His brothers are all taking it pretty hard.’
Paul, who appeared in six of the seven films about illegal street racing and heists, had been at an event for his charity Reach Out Worldwide before deciding to take the car, a cherry-red Porsche, out for a drive with Roger.
The wreck took place about 3.30pm, about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held – and where the speed limit is 45mph.
Guests rushed to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but the fireball had already engulfed the car.
By Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the red car and a light pole that had been knocked down.
The LA County Coroner’s office has requested dental records for both Walker and Rodas before they can identify the bodies. Autopsies on both bodies have been delayed until later this week, reports TMZ.
The star was a self-confessed adrenaline junkie who enjoyed fast cars, surfing and outdoor pursuits. On his official Twitter account, he described himself as ‘outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie… and I do some acting on the side.’
This afternoon, a statement released on Paul’s Facebook page, said: ‘Paul Walker’s family appreciates the outpouring of love and goodwill from his many fans and friends.