Newton “Newt” Wimer, a friend of Paul Walker, tried to save Walker after the fiery crash that ultimately took the actor’s life.
Wimer, 37, is a film stuntman who raced to the scene and tried to pull Walker from the burning Porsche GT that had crashed into a light pole and trees just minutes before.
Wimer burnt his arms in his rescue attempt and was so determined to get Walker out of the wreckage that he allegedly hit a firefighter who was trying to restrain him, reported the Daily Mail. Wimer was pulled away from the scene by several firefighters.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said that Walker was still alive after the crash and was killed by a combination of injuries sustained as well as the fire. But dispatch audio of first responders on the scene show that the responders declared Walker dead right after arriving at the crash site, reported TMZ. The firefighters believed that Walker and Roger Rodas, who was driving the vehicle, were dead almost immediately.
Wimer told E! News after the crash that his efforts were likely in vain.
“They were gone on impact,” he said.
(AP Photo/The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Dan Watson)
Wimer, who works for Always Evolving, the auto shop and racing company that Walker and Rodas co-owned, raced to the crash site from the Always Evolving office, which was just around the block.
Jim Torp, who works for Always Evolving, the auto shop that Walker and Rodas co-owned, said that Wimer, who also works for Always Evolving, was trying his hardest to pull Walker out.
“Paul’s best friend, Newt, had burns on his arms from trying to pull Paul out,” he said.
“He didn’t care, he wanted to get his friend out of the car. The sheriff detained him and put him in the car so he wouldn’t get hurt.”
Wimer paid tribute to Walker and Rodas.
“They were two fun loving men who cared tremendously about other people,” he said. “They left behind a lot of people who they loved and supported with their time and any way they could.”
Wimer has a workshop where he works on cars where Walker hung out a lot, and assisted with the work.
A source close to both of them said that Wimer and Walker were “like brothers.”
The pair met around 25 years ago at Village Christian High School in Los Angeles.
Wimer has performed stunt work in a range of movies, including Transformers, The Island, White House Down, and the Lone Ranger, as well as the television series True Blood.
He also hosted 13 episodes of the television series Weather Proof. Wimer created a machine that could disrupt hail storms.