5 Things to Know About Roger Rodas, Who Died with Paul Walker
(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.
By Josh Levs, CNN