Jason Priestley on Paul Walker crash: ‘They were going … at a very high rate of speed’

North Stars
December 6, 2013

Jason Priestley didn't need to be told by police that speed was a factor in Paul Walker's deadly car crash on Nov. 30, because he knew it already.

The Canadian "Call Me Fitz" star was himself in a major racing accident in 2002. In a new interview with ET Canada, Priestley said he already knew what the cops confirmed earlier this week: that "speed was a factor" in the crash that killed Walker on Saturday.

"All you have to do is look at the video and the photographs that people shot on their iPhone," Priestley said. "I mean, there was nothing left of that car. That was a huge impact. They were going, I can only imagine, at a very high rate of speed."

According to People magazine, driver Roger Rodas was doing "at least twice" the speed limit of 45 mph when he hit a light pole, two trees, and a street sign, killing himself and passenger Walker.

Priestley (who is currently at the Whistler Film Festival promoting his feature filmmaking debut, "Cas & Dylan") called the accident a "tragic, tragic loss of life." Though he had not met Walker, the 44-year-old B.C. native knew him by reputation.

"He was one of the nice guys in Hollywood, and it's a shame," Priestley said. "It's a real shame to lose him."

Eleven years ago, Priestley was briefly hospitalized after slamming his Indy Pro Series race car into a wall at nearly 180 mph during a practice at the Kentucky Speedway. The racing aficionado said he was familiar with the car Rodas was driving at the time of his accident.

"I know the Porsche Carrera GT," Priestley told ET. "It's basically a street legal race car."

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Porsche Carrera GT can reach 100 mph in under seven seconds but is hard to steer.

"It really isn't an easy car to control," said "Top Gear" co-host Jeremy Clarkson. "The clutch is brutal, the power is savage and the handling ... you really are on a knife edge."

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