Paul Walker’s childhood friend tried to pull him from burning car: source

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WH Photography/Splash News

This photo was taken just minutes after the car Paul Walker and a friend were in crashed into a pole. Walker’s childhood friend, Newton Wimer, can reportedly be seen being pulled away from the wreckage by first responders.

The friend who tried to pull Paul Walker from a burning Porsche last weekend grew up with the “Fast & Furious” star and might have been seriously injured himself if first responders hadn’t held him back, a well-placed source told the Daily News Friday.

“I think that’s a fair statement. They were like family — like brothers. It’s tough,” the source close to Walker’s racing team told The News. “They were childhood friends.”

The source said would-be hero Newton Wimer, 27, was a fabricator and racing engineer at Always Evolving in Valencia, Calif.

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Newton Wimer, a childhood friend of Paul Walker, risked his own life to try to save the star. He is pictured here on the show 'Weather Proof' on The Weather Channel.

The Weather Channel via YouTube

Newton Wimer, a childhood friend of Paul Walker, risked his own life to try to save the star. He is pictured here on the show ‘Weather Proof’ on The Weather Channel.

The high-performance auto shop was owned by Walker and his partner Roger Rodas, a married father of two who also was captain of Walker’s racing team.

Walker, 40, and Rodas, 38, died tragically Sept. 30 when a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT piloted by Rodas crashed into a light pole and tree just minutes after leaving a charity event at Always Evolving attended by Wimer.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation, but cops have said speed was a factor.

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Paul Walker (left) and Roger Rodas, who died on Sept. 30 when the Porsche they were in crashed into a light pole and tree just minutes after leaving a charity event.

Carparazzis via Facebook

Paul Walker (left) and Roger Rodas, who died on Sept. 30 when the Porsche they were in crashed into a light pole and tree just minutes after leaving a charity event.

A photo from the crash scene reportedly shows Wimer being pulled away from the burning wreckage by a first responder.

“They were very close. He’s exactly the person I’d expect to go head first into the fire to pull them out,” the source said.

“He would have carried on if he hadn’t been restrained,” an unidentified source told the U.K.’s Daily Mail. “In fact, it’s lucky he was, or he would have died too.”

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The cause of the incident remains under investigation, but cops have said speed was a factor.

Dan Watson/REUTERS

The cause of the incident remains under investigation, but cops have said speed was a factor.

A coroner spokesman told The News Thursday that preliminary autopsy results show both Walker and Rodas died “within seconds” of the crash.

Rodas’ death was attributed to “multiple traumatic injuries” while Walker’s was caused by the “combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries,” the Los Angeles County Coroner said Wednesday.

Still, the different causes of death did not mean Walker survived for any substantial amount of time after Rodas, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said.

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A source tells the Daily News that Walker (pictured) and childhood friend Newton Wimer were 'like family — like brothers.'

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Universal Pictu

A source tells the Daily News that Walker (pictured) and childhood friend Newton Wimer were ‘like family — like brothers.’

“We didn’t give exact time of death, but it was probably within a nanosecond, pretty much instantaneous, not a matter of a minute or more,” Winter told the News Thursday, referring to Walker.

Beyond Newton Wimer, Walker also was close friends with Wimer’s brother Lucas Wimer, a fabricator and racing engineer, and the third partner in Always Evolving, Rich Taylor, the source close to Walker’s racing team said Friday.

“I think part of the reason Paul started with (Always Evolving) was because he thought it would be cool to have a shop where he could work with all his friends,” the source said. “How come something like this has to happen to the good guys? It’s not fair.”

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The Los Angeles County Coroner attributed Rodas' death to 'multiple traumatic injuries' while Walker's was caused by the 'combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.'

Dan Watson/AP

The Los Angeles County Coroner attributed Rodas’ death to ‘multiple traumatic injuries’ while Walker’s was caused by the ‘combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries.’

The source said many members of the close-knit racing clan have been working through their grief, keeping their heads down and fulfilling promises made to customers.

“It’s devastating, but they have to keep going,” the source said. “It’s probably what they need right now. It’s hard to ponder life in general after you see people die.”

Some in the crew were scheduled to work at the 2013 United States Air Force 25 Hours of Thunderhill race starting Saturday in the Napa Valley, the source said.

RELATED: PARTS OF CAR PAUL WALKER DIED IN SWIPED BY THIEVES: COPS

The source tells The News that he thinks part of the reason Walker (pictured) started the auto shop Always Evolving was to have a place where he could work with all his friends.

Paul Walker via Twitter

The source tells The News that he thinks part of the reason Walker (pictured) started the auto shop Always Evolving was to have a place where he could work with all his friends.

Funeral arrangements, meanwhile, appeared to be looking past the weekend into next week, the source said.

Walker’s family hasn’t announced any plans for a memorial service but has asked that fans donate to the actor’s disaster relief charity Reach Out Worldwide instead of sending flowers.

His dad Paul Walker Sr. gave an emotional interview to E! Online, saying he had asked his son to curb his “daredevil” ways in their last conversation.

“I said: ‘Promise me, no more daredevil stuff,'” the grief-stricken father recalled.

“I said: ‘If in your heart, you say, I can do this, then by all means, do it. If your mind says, maybe not, then don’t,'” he recalled. “I looked at him, I said: ‘Will you promise me that?'”

The dad said his son promised.

Walker Sr. also revealed his beloved son was often uncomfortable with his fame.

“It was embarrassing to him,'” Walker Sr. told E! News. “I thought last night, Paul would be so embarrassed of this. And I looked up at the sky, and I said: ‘Well, tough luck pal.'”

ndillon@nydailynews.com


Daily News – Gossip

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