Some Final Thoughts on the Walker/Rodas Tragedy

See my previous post on the Paul Walker/Roger Rodas wreck.

Heard through the grapevine (Fire Dept. in our Valley) that the estimated speed Roger was driving was 100-to-120 mph. Mechanical failure coupled with driving city streets at that speed equals opportunity for a very bad ending. Sad for the families impacted by this, but people make choices, and sometimes other people have to live with them in ways the person making the choice do not. In this case, literally. I am sure Roger — being a financial adviser (one of Merrill Lynch’s top guys) as well as being involved in a dangerous sport — had a good life-insurance policy for his family. Here Roger gives some tips for adding cars to an investment portfolio:

The following comes from Investment News:

Mr. Rodas, 38, was a nearly-two-decade Bank of America Corp. employee who had become one of Merrill Lynch’s most successful brokers in Southern California. The automobile aficionado and exotic-car shop owner also headed a team of advisers in Glendale, Calif.

Mr. Walker met Mr. Rodas at a race club, and the two talked about one of Mr. Rodas’ Porsches. The two raced cars together even before Mr. Rodas developed Mr. Walker as a formal client in 2007, according to an article published two years ago by Merrill Lynch.

The article said that Mr. Rodas reorganized Mr. Walker’s portfolio, “a hodgepodge of personal investments,” meeting with the actor to readjust financial strategies after each movie he made, suggesting he incorporate his race shop to make his hobby financially self-sustaining and working with an accountant to set up the actor’s foundation, Reach Out Worldwide.


The relationship between Mr. Walker and Mr. Rodas was unusual, said Jeffrey B. Wheeler, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based adviser who has celebrity clients.

Advisers who manage money for the tabloid set more commonly deal with handlers and gatekeepers, such as business managers, than their clients, he said.

“People who are as successful as Paul Walker are very busy people,” said Mr. Wheeler, whose firm is called Wealth Collaborative Inc. and manages about $350 million. “This appears to be a very deep relationship that is difficult to achieve.”

Mr. Rodas’ circle of friends also included “Happy Days” actor Scott Baio.

“Roger Rodas was my dear friend & a good human being,” Mr. Baio wrote on Twitter. “I will miss him.”

Read more:

And then The Blaze has this awesome story of one of Paul Walker’s secret act of kindness:

The Driver in the Paul Walker Crash Was Local to Our Valley, Roger Rodas (RIP)

The above is an interview by our local paper, The Signal. The death of Paul Walker is tragic because he was up doing charity work with a friend, Roger Rodas. Roger was a man who invested in his community, and leaves behind a hole in the hearts of their kids (Paul’s and Roger’s). This from The Mirror

Paul (left) and Roger (right)

The eight-year-old son of Roger Rodas bravely tried to save his dad as flames engulfed the supercar following the crash which killed Fast and Furious star Paul Walker.

The boy jumped a fence and ran over to the burning car in a desperate bid to free his trapped father.

Witness Jim Torp told the NY Daily News: “I ran over afterwards, I was trying to find Roger’s son.

“I found out his son had jumped the fence and gone over, he was trying to get his dad out.

“Paul Walker’s best friend was trying to get Paul out of the car while it was still on fire … he was trying to save his friend … there was nothing he could do.”

…read more…

Truly a sad picture this boy will have to deal with. A pretty thorough article on the whole affair can be found in the Telegraph.

While at the event, Walker and Rodas decided to take the Porsche GT out for a spin.

Witnesses at the crash scene posted a video of the scene on YouTube showing debris from the wreckage while emergency workers cordoned off the area. Photographs also show a burnt out shell of a car.

Antonio Holmes told the Santa Clarita Signal: ‘We all ran around and jumped in cars and grabbed fire extinguishers and immediately went to the vehicle. It was engulfed in flames. There was nothing.

‘They were trapped. Employees, friends of the shop. We tried. We tried.’

Holmes added: ‘Him and his buddy, his brother in arms at heart just decided to joyride, take a spin. Something we all do. We’re all car enthusiasts…

Paul confessed to being a Christian (may have been Mormon?), I believe Roger’s wife, Kristine, is a woman involved in the faith (and I pray her husband was as well). So prayers for the family is asked for.

Get to know Roger a bit more by clicking through the link in the pic of Roger.