The unfortunate fact of the matter, whether you agree with TC or not, is that something went wrong in the driver's seat prior to the crash. I am not sure what the weather conditions were...but any and all TC could have been enabled, and if the tire pressures were too high (for example) and the ground was somewhat cold, that right there could have resulted in this catastrophic accident. There are so many variables at play it will take the CART team down there a lot of time to figure it all out...and they will.
As for Paul Walker...he hit the scene as I was leaving high school, entering college, and getting my own feet wet in SCCA events and some of the local 24-hour races. I think him doing a Steve McQueen biopic (as was planned) would have been phenomenal, as I grew to see him as my generation's McQueen analogue. I definitely felt after the last couple "Fast and Furious" movies, as well as "Running Scared", his magnum opus was just around the corner and we were going to get his "Great Escape" and "Bullitt". It is a tremendous loss for his family and friends, and I definitely am bummed out that one of my favorite actors to watch is now gone. Reminds me, obviously, of Heath Ledger and his untimely departure.
Oh...and in no way do I think the conversation was derailed by talking cars. If Paul Walker was anything like the person I have heard he was, he would be the first one to get this conversation turned toward what he loved most...not feeling sad for him but discussing, debating, and expressing our love for cars and driving. I know that's what I would much prefer were I in his shoes. And speaking of cars...the laundry list of Walker's collection is fantastic. VERY good taste that spans multiple themes and continents.