Hollywood is still reeling from the recent loss of Fast and Furious franchise star Paul Walker, who died in a car crash Saturday. (Walker was sitting in the passenger seat; his friend Roger Rodas, the CEO of custom car shop Always Evolving, was driving the vehicle and also perished in the crash.)
Chief among the mourners: Tyrese Gibson, another Fast and Furious star who initially responded to the news of Walker’s death with stunned disbelief. (“My heart is hurting so bad no one can make me believe this is real Father God I pray that you send clarity over this cause I just don’t understand,” he wrote on Instagram Saturday. “My heart hurts it’s broken no one can convince me that this is real…”) A clearly heartbroken Gibson took a trip to the accident’s crash site Sunday, where photographers captured him weeping and laying down a flower for his fallen friend.
Apparently, Gibson also took a piece of crash wreckage with him:
“I will keep your energy with me forever,” he wrote upon leaving the site, adding, “#AshesOfAnAngel fast family around the world we live you and we love you Paul is the heartbeat of this franchise and were gonna see to it that his energy and presence lives on forever #myhearthurtssobad”
Earlier that day, Gibson shared a screenshot of his final text conversation with Walker, which evidently took place on Thanksgiving. “At least I got to say I love you,” he wrote. “#OurLastExchange but our laughs and moments will live forever #ThisIsWorstThanMyWorstNightmare #GodiLoveYouAndiwillneverquestionYou…. But this I just don’t understand #PaulForeverFamily #MyHeartHurtsSoBad please pray for his daughter and family…”
Forty-year-old Walker celebrated his birthday with the cast and crew of Fast 7 this past September, just months before his untimely death. “Not just a family on camera were a real family,” Gibson explained in the caption for another Instagram post – a video that shows the film’s team presenting Walker with two platters of birthday cupcakes. “Y’all singing ‘Happy Birthday’ without me? What the f—?” Gibson yells playfully before Walker blows out his candles to the crowd’s cheers. The brief clip ends with a shot of Walker and fellow Fast star Vin Diesel posing for a photo together.
The future of Walker’s unfinished final film, which is still in production, is currently unclear. Fast 7’s July 11, 2014 release date will likely be pushed back, although Universal has yet to confirm that in an announcement. “All of us at Universal are heartbroken,” a representative from the studio said in a statement. “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. We send our deepest and most sincere condolences to Paul’s family.”