In the nearly four years since Paul Walker was killed in a tragic car crash during a charity event, his family continues to struggle with the actor’s passing.
Walker’s mother Cheryl and brother Caleb open up about the actor’s November 2013 death in a new interview.
Just 40-years-old at the time of his death, Walker was killed when a car he was riding in crashed and exploded in Santa Clarita, California. Walker’s friend, the driver of the car, also died at the scene.
The morning of the accident, Cheryl spent time with her son at home.
“I had had a really nice conversation with Paul that morning,” she tells People. “He was in my home, he left to go to the event and so I was expecting him back in the early afternoon, evening. And we had plans with his daughter, too, to decorate a Christmas tree that night.”
Cheryl says she was “basically alone” when she found out about the tragic accident that took his life.
“I think I was in the kitchen and then I heard somebody come in and I looked and it was a friend of mine. Somebody that Paul knew, too. [A] family friend,” she explains. “And she looked like she just lost somebody, you know, she looked very upset.”
“And then other people started arriving, including the two young men that Paul grew up with that were trying to get him out of the car,” she recalls during the emotional interview.
Despite the support of her family, including the actor’s younger brother Caleb and Walker’s then 15-year-old daughter Meadow, Cheryl says it was oftentimes difficult to continue on without her son.
“I felt guilty for even feeling like that but I really honestly would wish that I didn’t have to wake up in the morning. I would never have taken my life but I really felt that way. Because when you wake up, you have to realize it’s real and you relive it all over again,” she explains.
After his death during production of Furious 7, the actor’s brother Caleb stepped into Walker’s shoes as Brian O’Conner, filling in as a stand-in to complete the character’s scenes. It was a difficult decision for Caleb to take on the part so soon after his brother’s death, but he credits the film’s cast in helping him through the grieving process.
“I always wanted to be like him growing up, and so stepping into his shoes was special, but it was too soon, you know, looking back at it,” he says. “Like, it was, like, just a few months afterward. But the most special part was getting to know his other family that he had been working with for 15 years. Every cast member, every person on the set all had a special, unique bond with Paul.”