Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal, has died in a car accident in Los Angeles, Rolling Stone has learned. He was 33.
Hastings' unvarnished 2010 profile of McChrystal in the pages of Rolling Stone, "The Runaway General,"
captured the then-supreme commander of the U.S.-led war effort in
Afghanistan openly mocking his civilian commanders in the White House.
The maelstrom sparked by its publication concluded with President Obama
recalling McChrystal to Washington and the general resigning his post.
"The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet
the standard that should be met by – set by a commanding general,"
Obama said, announcing McChrystal's departure. "It undermines the
civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic
Neither the Los Angeles Police Department nor coroner's officials could immediately confirm whether Hastings was the victim of a single-car crash
that occurred about 4:25 a.m. in the 600 block of North Highland
Avenue. Police officials said it was the only vehicle fatality reported
Tuesday morning in the city of Los Angeles.
The vehicle crossed a median, struck a tree and burst into flames in
the Hancock Park area, LAPD Officer Christopher No said. The driver was
pronounced dead at the scene.
Coroner's officials said they
could not immediately identify the victim, saying the body was burned
beyond recognition. Without identification or next of kin, neither the
LAPD nor the coroner's department could officially identify the body
found in the vehicle.
he wreck happened near the intersection of Highland and Melrose
avenues around 4:15 a.m., according to LAPD Officer Lillian Carranza. Hastings car slammed into a tree and caught fire.
The driver appeared to be speeding at the time of the crash, Carranza said.
“I was just coming northbound on Highland and I seen a car, like,
going really fast and all of a sudden I seen it jackknife,” said Luis
Cortez, who witnessed the wreck.
“I just seen parts fly everywhere and I slammed on my brakes and stopped and tried to call 911,” Cortez added.
Hastings was pronounced dead at the scene.
Coroner’s officials said the body was too badly burned to make an immediate identification.
Are you fucking kidding me?