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Porsche Blames Paul Walker Crash on Driver in Response to Suit

The automaker said the driver, Roger Rodas, was the cause of the 2013 that killed Rodas and actor Paul Walker in Southern California.
Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas died in a car crash on Nov. 30, 2013.
Paul Walker and his friend Roger Rodas died in a car crash on Nov. 30, 2013.Filipe Carvalho / Reuters file
/ Source: NBC News

Lawyers for Porsche are blaming the man who was behind the wheel during a fiery Southern California crash that killed the driver and "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker.

The statements were made in a response to a civil lawsuit alleging a vehicle flaw caused the 2013 crash.

Roger Rodas and Walker were killed on Nov. 30, 2013 after Rodas’ 2005 Porsche Carrera GT crashed into a tree and burst into flames after the men left a charity event in Santa Clarita, California. Walker was a passenger in the car.

Rodas’ widow, Kristine Rodas, sued Porsche Cars North America, saying her husband was an experienced driver and a defect with the vehicle caused the crash. Investigatorsblamed the crash on “unsafe speed.”

"Roger Rodas’s death, and all other injuries or damages claimed, were the result of Roger Rodas’s own comparative fault," lawyers for Porsche said in a response filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District in California on Monday.

Roger Rodas "chose to conduct himself in a manner so as to expose himself and others to such perils, dangers and risks," the filing said.

The lawsuit claims experts have determined a suspension failure in the right rear wheel area of the sports car caused the car's rear end to swing to the left, sending the vehicle out of control. It also claims the Carrera GT was initially designed as a race car and should have had safety features like a crash cage and a racing fuel cell that could have kept it from catching fire. Porsche has denied that the model has any defects.


— Phil Helsel