Fast and Furious star Paul Walker died on Saturday in an automobile accident while riding in a friend’s car at a charity racing event near Valencia, CA. His publicist Ame Van Iden confirmed the death in an email to the Chicago Tribune.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department gave a statement saying that two people were killed in a car accident  at about 5:30 p.m. CT. The crash was followed by the vehicle becoming completely engulfed in flames and video has been circulated of the crash.

Walker, 40, was in five of the six films made by director Justin Lin, set in a world of fast cars doing spectacular stunts, playing law enforcement officer Brian O’Conner.  The film franchise began in 2001 and all six of the films star Vin Diesel. Universal studios said a seventh film is in development after the most recent grossed almost $800 Million worldwide in May.

Diesel posted on instagram:  “Brother I will miss you very much. I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace.”

Walker is from Glendale, CA and before the Fast and Furious franchise worked mostly in television on Tony Danza’s Who’s the Boss, Scott Baio’s Charles in Charge and the soap opera The Young and the Restless.

In its statement Universal said, “All of us at Universal are heartbroken. Paul was truly one of the most beloved and respected members of our studio family for 14 years, and this loss is devastating to us, to everyone involved with the Fast and Furious films, and to countless fans.”

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