This is my first post here, so I thought I might as well go with the controversial one that has been at the front of my mind since Saturday night. Apologies in advance if I offend anyone.
It should be noted, beyond any shade of a doubt, that Paul Walker's and Roger Rodas' deaths are tragedies, the same as any other death that comes too soon. It is appropriate to grieve for their friends, family, and anyone else whose lives they touched.
After reading the (unlikely) story posted on Jalopnik that the Carrera GT Walker was a passenger in was drag racing an S2000, I was reminded of the scene above. Although corny, this is a sexy scene, especially to an impressionable adolescent male. And when an impressionable young driver sees something like this, they do not see a closed road with stunt drivers in a controlled situation; they see street racing and then beautiful women immediately afterwards. They see a young good looking rebellious dude taking chances and winning. I'm not here to hate on the F&F movies - they are fiction and, frankly, I have guiltily enjoyed most of them, but they have increased kids interest in street racing. Is that F&F's fault? Absolutely not. People have a responsibility to discern reality from fiction and make good choices. Nonetheless, I dare you to go stand in a movie theater parking lot on the night of a F&F premier. Plainly, kids come out to their Civics and think they're Vin Diesel.
That's the thing about Paul Walker's death. Reality just clashed with fantasy. I'm pretty sure that Paul Walker will be in the next installment of F&F. He'll probably illegally race some tuner car and he will definitely look awesome doing it. But by then, everyone in the theater will have had a brutal reminder of the fragility of life, and that the streets aren't for driving at high speeds, even in an exotic sports car. Whatever that Carrera GT was doing, it was not going the speed limit. It is difficult to crash a mid-engine Porsche going 50mph. Harder still to bounce it into 4 trees. For all I know, Rodas passed out from health complications and his foot got stuck on the accelerator. He very well might not have been racing, but he was going too fast - that is for sure.
Personally, it's a goal of mine, and probably everyone else, for my life to improve (or save) the lives of others. And this is where I am praying for a silver lining. Street racing just got a lot less cool because the poster boy just died. Hopefully, kids (and adults) will remember Paul Walker and opt to take their cars to the track and drive more responsibly on the roads. Hopefully, more people will realize that when they have a passenger, they are responsible for that life, as well as their own. And thus, hopefully, lives will be saved through this tragedy.
Paul Walker's death was incredibly sad
The death was probably a result of high speeds on a public road
Young street racing candidates will remember this and make better choices
Less people will be killed in street racing accidents