Paul Walker's gift: Actor secretly bought Iraq war veteran engagement ring worth $9,000
The late Fast & Furious actor performed the overwhelming act of generosity after overhearing the couple say the piece was too expensive for them
Paul Walker secretly bought an Iraq war veteran a $9,000 engagement ring for his wife-to-be after overhearing the couple say the piece was too expensive for them.
The Fast & Furious actor, who died in a car crash over the weekend, was in a Santa Barbara jewellery store in 2004 when he carried out the random act of overwhelming generosity.
The couple were in the same shop, looking for a diamond ring before soldier Kyle Upham was sent on his second deployment back to Iraq.
A store employee originally revealed the story following the star’s untimely death, prompting the couple to tell their side of the tale.
“When he found out Kyle just came back from Iraq - I remember seeing the look in his face. He kind of transformed,” Kristen Upham told CBS.
The pair quickly recognised Walker after striking up a conversation with the star. Kyle told the actor he had arrived home after a tour of duty in Iraq.
Realising that they didn’t have the funds to buy the ring they wanted, they left the store empty-handed. A short time later, the sales assistant called them, insisting they return to the store, where they were presented with the ring.
Walker had in fact tracked down the shop manager and told him to put the ring “on his tab”.
Baffled by the purchase, the Uphams quizzed the sales clerks but, on Walker’s request, they refused to tell them who it was.
The couple held onto the gift receipt for safe keeping, suspecting it had been the actor that made the purchase. However, their suspicions had never been confirmed.
The store itself has since closed its Santa Barbara branch, but kept the secret until the star’s tragic death.
“His real life speaks volumes of his character. He really did put his money where his mouth is and did good for this world,” Mrs Upham added.
The news comes as Paul Walker’s autopsy results, confirming his cause of death, were released by the LA County Coroner's Office.
The star died from a combination of “traumatic and thermal injuries”. This means that the forceful impact of the crash alone was not enough to kill the star. It was the high speed collision combined with the resulting combustion of the vehicle that ultimately led to his death, CNN reports.
Roger Rodas, the driver of the vehicle and a close friend of Walker’s, died on impact. Thermal injuries were not among the causes of death listed as a factor.
Toxicology results for both individuals will be made available in six to eight weeks. However, the Medical Examiner has already ruled that both deaths were an accident.
A tribute video, featuring some of Paul Walker’s best career moments, has also been unveiled. Watch it in full below:
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