Paul Walker's death in a parking lot in his Porsche

Started By: Gary Hagopian on 2013-12-03 12:45:04

In light of his death by fire, while screaming around a parking lot and crashing into a light pole, I believe the slalom committee should think about some of the participant's antics during our slaloms.

In particular, I'm referring to "smoke-shows" after an inadvertent spin out,and tire "warm-ups" in the slalom area, both of which fall into this category.

We have been very lucky for a number of years, not having had a personal injury accident in the 25 years that we have been running this competition, though I am aware of one crash during a slalom that resulted in the car's going home on a flat-bed!

Let's not wait for disaster before taking action. I believe that "if-you-spin,-put-both-feet-in", should be a rule that when broken, should result in disqualification from further competition that day.

With people and cars in such close proximity, speeds before and after a slalom run should be at a "fast walk".

Comments

Gary,

I get what you're saying about the need for safety at the slaloms, but we also need to be aware of the fact that Mr. Walker and the driver's unfortunate death were a result of a high-speed car accident, not any parking lot antics. The car was practically cut in half. May he R.I.P.

I am no longer running the Slaloms in Florida, having successfully put on 22 or more of them over my 12 years as Slalom Master - most with 15 or more cars. Over those years, we set a lot of records, and did have a couple smoke shows, but never an accident. Got close to one with a less-than-skilled E-type driver who had trouble working the correct feet on his pedals, I suspect! Of course, some cars had mechanical or electrical failures, and went home with assistance, but lucky to have zero accidents:-)

Good luck in your slalom endeavors, haven't seen you run in Florida in quite a while.

Ginger Corda
Slalom Committee member

Edited on 2014-03-26 7:43:56
March 25, 2014 - LA Sheriff's Department Report on the investigation: http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/0325_paul_walker_cras...

Speed was the cause -- 80 - 93 mph -- but the tires were 9 years old, too.

TMZ News report:
"Paul Walker died as a result of speeding and not mechanical problems.

A source connected with the CHP -- which did the speed analysis -- tells TMZ ... Roger Rodas, the driver, was going between 80 and 93 MPH when he lost control going around a curve and crashed.

The Associated Press quotes a source from the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. -- the agency that conducted the mechanics analysis -- who says the crash was NOT the result of mechanical failure. Speed was the trigger for the fatal accident.

Investigators also noted the tires were 9 years old. Shortly after Paul died ... law enforcement sources told us they were the original tires on the car and they had hardened ... which means it lost traction on the road.

Porsche had issued a memo to its dealers 9 years ago warning them the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT could be dangerous to an untrained driver. The memo says the road surfaces need to be smooth, like a race track. The car is so sensitive, the memo says, "This vehicle cannot drive over a Foster beer can that is lying on its side."

Investigators say there was no evidence a second car was involved in the collision.
They also said an after-market exhaust system had been installed, which would have increased the engine's horsepower. According to investigators, the coroner's office determined neither Walker nor Rodas had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash. Walker and Roger Rodas died Nov. 30 from a combination of the impact and fire.

During the investigation, German Porsche mechanics flew to L.A. to examine the car .... analyzing the Carrera GT's brakes, engine, body and a tire that wasn't destroyed in the fire.

March 25, 2014 - LA Sheriff's Department Report on the investigation: http://tmz.vo.llnwd.net/o28/newsdesk/tmz_documents/0325_paul_walker_cras...

Speed was the cause -- 80 - 93 mph -- but the tires were 9 years old, too.

TMZ News report:
"Paul Walker died as a result of speeding and not mechanical problems.

A source connected with the CHP -- which did the speed analysis -- tells TMZ ... Roger Rodas, the driver, was going between 80 and 93 MPH when he lost control going around a curve and crashed.

The Associated Press quotes a source from the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. -- the agency that conducted the mechanics analysis -- who says the crash was NOT the result of mechanical failure. Speed was the trigger for the fatal accident.

Investigators also noted the tires were 9 years old. Shortly after Paul died ... law enforcement sources told us they were the original tires on the car and they had hardened ... which means it lost traction on the road.

Porsche had issued a memo to its dealers 9 years ago warning them the 2004 Porsche Carrera GT could be dangerous to an untrained driver. The memo says the road surfaces need to be smooth, like a race track. The car is so sensitive, the memo says, "This vehicle cannot drive over a Foster beer can that is lying on its side."

Investigators say there was no evidence a second car was involved in the collision.
They also said an after-market exhaust system had been installed, which would have increased the engine's horsepower. According to investigators, the coroner's office determined neither Walker nor Rodas had alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of the crash. Walker and Roger Rodas died Nov. 30 from a combination of the impact and fire.

During the investigation, German Porsche mechanics flew to L.A. to examine the car .... analyzing the Carrera GT's brakes, engine, body and a tire that wasn't destroyed in the fire.

As a JCNA Slalom Master I am very concerned about parking lot antics at our events. Short of having an armed sergeant at arms at our JCNA events, I am open to constructive suggestions. Venues vary greatly in the amount of available space and near to course hazards; i.e., light poles, porta potties and even our timing and scoring desks, that can bring dangerous speeds close to the participants. I'm sure all of us in this position could use some guidance setting safety standards at our events.

Edited on 2014-03-26 9:52:42
Edited on 2014-03-26 9:50:48
I agree with Bob,Gary and Ginger and everyone else here. Having been Slalom Chairman for many years at JCSNE there is a difference between someone spinning out because they were overdriving, and doing a display because they are embarrassed that they spun the car in the first place.
-And worse than that, showing off is totally not acceptable. A vehicle is a very dangerous thing near a crowd of people, a busy venue, no guardrail etc., etc.
We at JCSNE try to move the timing table off the apex of the turn so to speak so if someone were to come in way too hot it would minimize any issues, but even at 20 or 30 mph it could be a very bad situation. I agree that unnecessary display or wreckless display should be an absolute means of disqualification and it would not be hard to have a universal disclaimer required by all clubs to use and have participants sign at each event that also lists these disqualification items.
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Our club has made up our own insurance sign in sheet, I have to admit I am not sure if JCNA actually has one for slalom. I know there is one for Concour. But we use our own and we make everyone on the premises sign it, participant or spectator.. they all have to sign the disclaimer.
So why cant JCNA whip up a Slalom sign in sheet, which includes these disqualifications by all on site, even spectators if their car is on the premises.. put it on the website and make it a requirement of the Slalom master to get it signed.
I have had situations, where people fainted while driving and totally drove off into space across the lot... I have had situations where people had blood pressure issues and got so confused they drove the track the totally wrong way.. You guys are right when you say that there is potential for someone getting hurt. But we are all smart adults, we have to make sensible decisions, Keep people away from the finish line.. watch the Children, and no Dogs!!! and Certainly we do not have time for Crazy Donuts or unnecessary displays. It should be grounds for disqualification absolutely.
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Dean A Cusano
ne-08-1695j