The Paul Walker death investigation has taken a new turn -- mechanical experts who work at Porsche in Germany are flying out to L.A. in an attempt to get to the bottom of what caused the fatal crash ... TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us ... they want a full analysis of the Carrera GT, including brakes, engine and body. They also want the experts to help determine speed at the time of impact. Our sources say they're also interested in the tires, and at least one is available for analysis because it was not completely destroyed in the fire.
TMZ broke the story, the L.A. County Coroner determined Walker died from a combination of impact and flames.
The Porsche experts will be working with Sheriff investigators to make an attempt to determine a clear cause of the crash.
Traumatic & Thermal Injuries
12/16/2013 5:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker died from "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries"... this according to the death certificate obtained by TMZ.
The official cause of death is significant ... it means Walker wasn't killed from the impact alone. He also burned to death after the crash.
The L.A. County Coroner released Paul's cause of death earlier this month. The man who was driving the 2005 Porsche Carrera GT, Roger Rodas, also died from "multiple traumatic injuries," but the Coroner did NOT list burns as a factor in his death.
Both death certificates reveal the men died quickly ... according to the doc, the time interval between the impact and their deaths was "rapid."
Both Walker and Rodas were killed in the November 30th crash in Santa Clarita, CA. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, but as we reported, officials suspect plastic bumps in the road may have caused Rodas to lose control.
12/16/2013 3:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's family -- and Tyrese -- said their final goodbye to the actor on a Santa Barbara beach.
Paul's dad, his 15-year-old daughter Meadow, Paul's brother and others were there celebrating Paul's life by enjoying a beautiful SoCal day -- playing football on the sand and hanging out.
Tyrese -- who co-starred with Walker in the "Fast & Furious" franchise -- was also present.
A bunch of people wore Viking hats -- not sure of the significance.
Santa Barbara was an appropriate place for the memorial. Paul made Santa Barbara home -- he wasn't really a Hollywood guy.
Small, Private Funeral
Held By Family and Friends
12/14/2013 2:34 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Walker's ashes were interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills Saturday morning ... and we're told the ceremony was brief.
As we previously reported ... the family is planning to hold another memorial in the near future ... this time for more people that were close to Paul.
Gene Autry, Don Cornelius, and Liberace were also laid to rest at Forest Lawn.
Paul Walker Death
Family Hunts For Burial Plot
12/11/2013 2:56 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's family is making plans for a proper funeral ... touring the grounds of a famous L.A. cemetery looking for a suitable burial plot.
Walker was killed 11 days ago when a Porsche Carrera GT driven by buddy Roger Rodas slammed into a pole and exploded in flames.
Walker's dad, Paul Sr., and other family members went to Forest Lawn Cemetery today to finalize plans and choose a final resting place.
We're told the Walkers are planning a small funeral -- mostly family -- but it will also include cast and crew from the "Fast & Furious" movies.
No word on when the funeral will be held.
Family Believes Road Bumps Sealed His Fate
12/11/2013 8:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker died after the speeding Porsche in which he was riding hydroplaned on reflective plastic markers in the street ... at least that's what his family and accident reconstruction experts believe.
Sources close to Paul's family tell TMZ ... the family has been in touch with stunt experts who have gone to the crash site and come back with what they believe is a solid theory -- a speeding car that hits the plastic markers -- called Botts' Dots -- will hydroplane, causing the driver to lose control.
We've learned the experts have told the family ... a car going speeds approaching 90 MPH will lose traction after hitting a series of Botts' Dots. It's akin to driving on ice -- and control is further compromised by the fact that the Porsche was outfitted with special racing tires that have very little tread.
And there's this ... Porsche sent out a memo to dealers back in 2004, warning about control problems with the Carrera GT, saying, "This vehicle cannot drive over a Foster Beer can that is lying on its side. It will crush the can and damage the carbon fiber under panels," adding, "You need to be aware of what type of road surface you are on (dips, pot holes, seam heights, etc.)."
Law enforcement sources say they have not concluded the exact cause of the accident, but it appears they're looking at the Botts' Dots ... as a viable theory for triggering the fatal crash.
Small Family Funeral
'Fast & Furious' Crew Invited
12/10/2013 5:05 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's funeral will be private ... for family only, and in Paul's world his movie's cast and crew is part of the brood.
Sources connected with Paul's family tell TMZ ... their biggest concern is Paul's 15-year-old daughter Meadow, who is understandably having a difficult time. They don't want a bunch of strangers surrounding the girl, because she needs to feel comfortable to grieve.
So the funeral will be by invitation only, and Paul felt the folks on the "Fast & Furious" cast and crew were close relatives. He was with them a lot and bonded with most of them.
The family is also aware ... the cast and crew are grieving just like them, and the funeral will help them cope.
It's unclear when the funeral will take place. Family sources tell TMZ ... sometime after the funeral there will be a larger memorial, but still by invitation only.
Laughing & Smiling
Minutes Before Fatal Crash [PHOTOS]
12/10/2013 12:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker was in a great mood just moments before his fatal Porsche accident -- laughing and smiling in the passenger seat of the car that killed him.
The photos were shot as Paul and driver Roger Rodas were leaving the Santa Clarita charity car show that Walker had organized.
It's a jarring look into the final moments of the actor's life -- especially the juxtaposition of the gleaming red sports car ... and the fiery wreck it became just minutes later.
Family Claims Remains
from Coroner's Office
12/10/2013 7:59 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker's remains were finally removed from the L.A. County Coroner's Office yesterday ... and transported to a local mortuary, TMZ has learned.
Sources tell us ... Paul's remains are now in the hands of Paul's family -- which will decide how and when the actor will be laid to rest.
Paul died on November 30 after the Porsche Carrera GT he was riding in crashed into a tree and a pole in Santa Clarita, CA and exploded into flames.
Paul was 40.
Paul Walker Wanted
To Help My Son Prevent Street Racing
12/10/2013 12:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker knew damn well how dangerous it is to race high-performance cars on the road ... because he was about to join the fight to stop illegal street racing ... this according to Hulk Hogan's ex-wife.
Linda Hogan was in Thousand Oaks, CA last week when she told us Paul and her son, Nick Hogan, bonded over their love of race cars ... and says they had big plans.
After Nick's infamous street racing accident in 2007, he started a charity called "Keep it On the Track" -- and Linda says Paul was going to team up with Nick to spread the word about keeping high-performance race cars ON designated race tracks, and OFF streets.
Paul and Nick also had something fun in the works -- watch the clip, Linda says it was all about "their toys."
Paul Walker Death
Alleged Wreckage Thieves Charged with FELONY
12/9/2013 2:57 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The law has come down hard on the guys who allegedly pillaged the Paul Walker crash scene ... they've been charged with 3 crimes.
18-year-old Jameson Witty was caught on video stealing the T-top roof of the Porsche right off the tow truck ... and, as if that wasn't enough of a smoking gun ... he then bragged about the heist by posting pics of the stolen wreckage on Instagram.
The L.A. County District Attorney has just charged Witty and his alleged accomplice, Anthony Janow, with felony grand theft, along with 2 misdemeanors -- destroying evidence and resisting, obstructing and delaying a peace officer.
If convicted, the 2 men face up to 4 years and 6 months behind bars.
Fans Rally in Droves
No Rubber Burned
12/9/2013 12:10 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Paul Walker fans came out by the thousands this weekend for a car rally in his honor ... and to show off their bad ass cars.
The event was held near the site where Paul died ... and the whole thing went off without a hitch.
As we previously reported ... cops were worried the tribute might influence people to drive recklessly -- but instead the fans gathered peacefully, and signed a huge mural for Paul ... and checked out each other's cars.
Check out the gallery for the cream of the auto-crop.
Sicko Tried Selling Burned Tree Bark From Crash Scene
12/8/2013 12:45 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Some deranged creep tried to make a quick buck off Paul Walker's death by selling pieces of burned bark he claims he took from the tree Paul crashed into ... TMZ has learned.
The seller says he took 6 pieces of charred tree (pictured below) from the crash site and put them on eBay -- asking for at least $100 per item.
But we've learned ... the seller had a change of heart (which might have had something to do with the hate mail he got) and he decided to to pull the auction for good.
The seller tells TMZ, "I would like to apologize to the family, friends, and fans of Paul Walker. At the time I listed the bark for sale, I did not realize the emotional impact it would have."