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Paul Walker Passes Away at 40



7:15 PM PT -- Paul's rep just released a statement about his death, and says "He was a passenger in a friend's car, in which both lost their lives." Witnesses on the scene originally said they thought the car was Paul's ... but have since confirmed it was not.

The rep added that Paul was "attending a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide." 

Paul Walker -- best known for his role in "The Fast and the Furious" movies -- died Saturday afternoon after a single-car accident and explosion in Southern California ... TMZ has learned.

The accident happened in Santa Clarita -- north of Los Angeles -- and according to multiple sources connected to Paul ... the actor was in a Porsche when the driver somehow lost control and slammed into a post or a tree ... and then the car burst into flames.

Several of our sources -- some who are still at the scene of the accident -- tell us Paul and another person in the car were killed. Law enforcement is still on the scene, and we're told the L.A. County Coroner's Office is on the way.
At this point, it's unclear what caused the accident, or who was behind the wheel when it happened.

Paul was 40 years old.

Sources close to Paul tell us he was in Santa Clarita for a car show to support the Philippines typhoon relief effort, and had gone for a ride with a friend in a new Porsche GT. The accident happened during that test spin.

Paul took a pic with a fan at the charity event, and the guy posted it ... noting how happy Walker was just hours before the crash. 
The fan added, "The world lost an angel in Paul. He dedicated so much of his life to helping disadvantaged kids and people who are in need. I'm gonna do whatever I can to keep Paul's goals for the charity alive."
TMZ

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