Skip to main content

5 things to know about Roger Rodas, who died with Paul Walker

By Josh Levs, CNN
updated 9:57 AM EST, Tue December 3, 2013

(CNN) -- Roger Rodas, the man believed to be driving the car in the crash that killed him and actor Paul Walker, leaves behind a family, a charity he founded with Walker, and friends and fans of his own.

Here are five things to know about him:

He was married and had two young children

The 38-year-old El Salvador native was known as a loving family man, CNN affiliate KCAL reported.

His young son was among the first to arrive at the scene after the accident, said Jim Torp, a car enthusiast who was at the same charity event as Rodas and Walker. "I knew his son was heading towards the accident. And he got past me because he knew there was a fire and he wanted to see it. But he didn't know it was his dad until he saw the car."

He was a financial planner

Rodas was a managing director of wealth management for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. His LinkedIn profile noted that he was recognized on Barron's list of America's top 1,000 advisers each year from 2010 to 2012. Walker was a client; Rodas reorganized his portfolio, according to Merrill Lynch.

He loved racing

Rodas met Walker at a California race club. He was driving a Porsche that Walker had previously owned. "Soon the two were racing side by side," and at one point teamed up "with two professional drivers in a pro-am 25-hour endurance race" in Thunder Hill, California, Merrill Lynch says on its website.

He created and owned a racing shop

Rodas was the owner of Always Evolving, a racing shop in Los Angeles. He was also captain of its racing team. Walker is listed as a driver on the team, according to the team's website.

On its Facebook page, the shop posted a message Sunday: "Thank you all for your condolences and prayers while we mourn the loss of our loved ones." The post has hundreds of comments, including this from Natalie White: "RIP Paul and Roger. You two will be missed, and your lives will be remembered and shared in the memories you left behind in your friends, family, and fans."

He was a philanthropist

First, Rodas had a charity of his own, raising money to help orphans and widows in El Salvador. Then, he and Walker created Reach Out Worldwide, a network of first responders who help in the wake of natural disasters. The organization was holding a charity event, which Rodas and Walker attended just before the car they were in crashed nearby.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 12:12 PM EDT, Sun March 16, 2014
Some fans are upset about an auction of items alleged to have been taken from the site of a fatal crash that killed "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker.
updated 3:18 PM EST, Tue January 7, 2014
It's not an easy thing, to finish a movie without one of your lead actors.
updated 9:58 AM EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Actor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise "Fast & Furious," died in a fiery car crash in Southern California at age 40.
updated 9:57 AM EST, Tue December 3, 2013
Roger Rodas, the man believed to be driving the car in the crash that killed him and actor Paul Walker, leaves behind a family, a charity he founded with Walker, and friends and fans of his own.
updated 1:35 PM EST, Thu December 5, 2013
"Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker initially survived a horrific car crash but died moments later due to a combination of injuries from the impact and the resulting fire.
updated 4:43 PM EST, Fri December 6, 2013
In death, Paul Walker has found more fame and exposure than ever before.
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Fri May 16, 2014
Take a look back at Paul Walker's life and film career through photos.
updated 1:36 PM EST, Mon December 2, 2013
Paul Walker was working on the next "Fast and Furious" film when he died. Here are other stars who also died during production.
updated 9:59 AM EST, Tue December 3, 2013
It has three times the horsepower of the average car. It's notoriously difficult to handle, even for professional drivers. And now, it's known as the car actor Paul Walker was riding in when he died.
updated 4:28 PM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
Even by the standards of supercars, and nearly a decade after it was first introduced, the Porsche Carrera GT is something remarkable.
updated 4:44 PM EST, Fri December 6, 2013
Los Angeles Authorities have arrested a man accused of swiping a piece of the wrecked sports car that "Fast & Furious" star Paul Walker was riding in when he died in a fiery crash.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
I'll never forget that day, back in the 1970s, when I first experienced the intense -- and probably addictive -- state of mind that would become a powerful force in my life.
updated 8:17 AM EST, Tue December 3, 2013
OMG! Insider released video from a nearby surveillance camera showing the moment of impact of the Paul Walker car crash.
updated 11:28 AM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
"Fast & Furious 6" studio Universal is doing its part to honor Paul Walker's memory.
updated 8:18 AM EST, Fri December 6, 2013
Actor Paul Walker once bought a wedding ring for a young U.S. military veteran shopping with his fiance in California.
updated 10:35 AM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
The fire that engulfed the Porsche carrying actor Paul Walker apparently did not erupt until a minute after the car clipped a light pole.
updated 9:37 AM EST, Sun December 1, 2013
Paul Walker's sudden death has left many in Hollywood nearly too stunned to speak.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT