Paul Walker fans in fast cars, on foot converge at crash site in his honor

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SANTA CLARITA, California (CNN) — Thousands of souped-up cars converged on a Southern California business park Sunday where eight days earlier actor Paul Walker and a friend were killed in a fiery car crash.

The line of cars, many of them fit to be used in Walker’s “Fast & Furious” street races, revved their engines as they drove down Hercules Street — the normally quiet and empty road where the red 2005 Porsche Carrera GT driven by Walker’s friend Roger Rodas clipped a light pole and burst into flames on November 30. The road was limited to one way, and cars were allowed to drive two abreast past the crash site.

Withtraffic backed up for at least three miles, thousands of Walker fans parked their cars blocks away and walked to the crash site to pay their respects to the star.

The memorial, loosely organized through Facebook pages and Southern California car clubs, was not sanctioned by the families of Walker or Rodas.

A spontaneous memorial began the moment Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies removed the yellow tape around the crash site eight hours after last weekend’s wreck. Fans were already waiting with flowers and candles, which piled up on the roadside where Walker and Rodas died.

Every night and day since the crash, fans have gathered and left mementos. Walker’s co-stars joined them at times.

Vin Diesel used a police car’s loudspeaker Tuesday to thank a crowd of mourning fans, calling Walker an “angel up in Heaven.”

Actor-singer Tyrese Gibson broke down sobbing as he laid a yellow flower at the site.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Wednesday said Walker died of “the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.” Speed was a factor in the crash, the sheriff’s office has said.

On the day of the crash, Walker was attending a holiday toy donation event for his charity, Reach Out WorldWide, when he hopped into the car with Rodas for a ride, witnesses said.

The Porsche, which was one of only a few hundred made, was on display at the event, which was held at a high-performance car shop owned by Rodas.

By Alan Duke