A simple photo has captured one of the final moments of Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker as he climbed into the red Porsche that minutes later would crash and burst into flames, claiming the actor's life.
The picture posted online is said to be the very last taken of the Hollywood star before the high-powered super-car, being driven by his friend Roger Rodas, spun out of control and crashed into a pole and a tree in Santa Clarita, California.
Scroll down to see the picture
Walker's body was so badly burned in the fiery crash that a coroner has insisted on checking his dental records to identify him.
TMZ reports that the Los Angeles County Coroner has decided to delay autopsies on Walker, 40, and his friend and business partner Rodas, 38, until later this week because their bodies are currently unidentifiable.
The coroner is waiting on both sets of dental records before proceeding.
Walker was killed when the red Porsche sports car he was travelling in spun out of control and slammed into a pole and a tree and then burst into fire yesterday afternoon in the town of Santa Clarita.
Rodas, a former race car driver, was in the driver's seat.
Local police said that speed was a factor in the crash.
"We don’t know much about the cause of the collision other than that we know speed was at least a contributing factor," Sergeant Brian Allen of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Department told the local Santa Clarita Valley Signal newspaper.
Witnesses recognised Walker and one onlooker even tried to pull him from the wreckage, the newspaper reported.
Walker had been at an event for his charity Reach Out Worldwide, was to raise money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, before deciding to take the car, a cherry-red Porsche Carrera, out for a drive with his friend.
Witnesses at the crash scene posted a video of the scene online showing debris from the fiery wreckage.
Walker was taking a Thanksgiving break from filming the seventh Fast and Furious movie, the latest installment in a film franchise about illegal street racing that had been scheduled for release in July.
Walker played undercover agent Brian O'Connor and appeared in all but one of the six movies. He was a leading protagonist along with Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.
Fans and fellow actors today mourned the death.
"It is with a truly heavy heart that we must confirm that Paul Walker passed away today in a tragic car accident while attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide," the late actor's publicists wrote on his Facebook account.
"He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives."
The publicists wrote that they were "stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news." The message was also linked to Walker's Twitter account.
"Brother I will miss you very much," wrote Hollywood star Diesel on his Instagram account. "I am absolutely speechless. Heaven has gained a new Angel. Rest in Peace."
Another Fast and Furious co-star, Ludacris, wrote on Twitter: "Your humble spirit was felt from the start, wherever you blessed your presence you always left a mark, we were like brothers & our birthdays are only 1 day apart, now You will forever hold a place in all of our hearts @paulwalker legacy will live on forever."
Former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who also appears in the franchise, wrote: "All my strength, love & faith to the Walker family during this heartbreaking time. We find our strength.. in his light. Love you brother."
The late actor is survived by his 15-year-old daughter Meadow.
In real life Walker raced cars, described himself on Twitter as an "outdoorsman, ocean addict," and "adrenaline junkie," and did many of his own movie stunts.
In a departure from his action movie roles, Walker is due to appear in Hours, an independent movie set for mid-December release about a father who struggles to keep his ailing infant daughter alive after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005.
Walker was also scheduled to star in the 2014 crime-action film Brick Mansions, a remake of the 2004 French movie District B13.
The first Fast and Furious movie appeared in 2001.
The series, with its focus on fast cars, tough guys, sexy starlets and exotic locales, is one of Hollywood's most lucrative global franchises.
Fans poured out their grief on social media, including the franchise's pages on Instagram and Facebook.
More than one million people had either liked or commented in various languages on the death notice on Walker's Facebook page.
Author: Erin Tennant, Approving editor: Martin Zavan