Hollywood Hills News
Journalist Michael Hastings Dies In Car Crash
By Alex Mazariegos
Jun 21, 2013 - 1:35:35 PM

Journalist Michael Hastings
HOLLYWOOD HILLS—Journalist Michael Hastings died on Tuesday, June 18, in a car crash on Highland Avenue near Melrose Avenue. He was 33.


As a writer, Hastings wrote and reported for BuzzFeed while also committing time as a regular contributor to GQ and a contributing editor, at Rolling Stone. He first rose in prominence while he covered the Iraq War for Newsweek in early 2007. During his Newsweek stint, Hastings' then-fianceé was killed in a Baghdad car bombing. This tragedy was the inspiration for his first book, “I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.”


He is best remembered for his 2010 profile on General Stanley McChrystal, “The Runaway General.” His report created a political firestorm that concluded with the resignation of General McChrystal. Subsequently, the journalistic piece won Hastings the 2010 George Polk award for magazine reporting.


Though details are in development, county officials have stated that the car smashed into a tree at a high-speed before erupting on fire. Hastings died at the scene.


Conspiracy theorists argue that Hastings' unyielding reporting and sparring with high-profile government officials made him a targeted man. Reports of an inexplicable high-speed and an engine block thrown 30 to 50 feet from the car have served as grounds for suspicion.


On Wednesday, WikiLeaks posted on their twitter account that “ Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.” The FBI denies any investigation.


Ben Smith, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief, said in a statement, “We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone. Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story, and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered from wars to politicians. He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold.”


On Thursday, the Los Angeles Coroner's Office formally identified Hastings as the victim of the crash. He is survived by his wife, Elise Jordan.

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