Coroner’s Report Rules Michael Hastings’ Death an Accident

<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Michael_Hastings_election_night_2012.jpg">John Santore</a>/Wikimedia Commons

The Los Angeles County coroner’s department concluded its investigation of the fatal Hollywood car crash of investigative journalist Michael Hastings on Tuesday, ruling his death an accident. The report should lay to rest any doubts about Hastings’ death, though it likely won’t satisfy conspiracy theorists like San Diego “investigative journalist” Kimberly Dvorak and others who have suggested that the journalist may have been assassinated or faked his death.

The report ruled the cause of Hastings’ death to be “massive blunt force trauma consistent with a high speed front-end impact to the sole of the right foot and to the front of the torso” after he lost control of his Mercedes. According to interviews conducted by the coroner’s department, family members had been attempting to get Hastings to enter detox after he began using drugs including DMT in the month prior to the accident. Traces of THC and amphetamines were found in Hastings’ blood, but are not believed to have been a factor in his death.

The coroner’s department investigation found no history of suicidal behavior, but the report does mention reckless behavior in Hastings’ past, including a “traffic collision in which decedent collided into a pole several years ago, believed as under the influence at the time, with report decedent had been misusing Ritalin at about this time.” One person told investigators that Hastings “believed he was ‘invincible,’ believing he could jump from a balcony and would be okay.”

You can read the full report by clicking on the document below (h/t @JasonLeopold).

 

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.

THE BIG QUESTION...

as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.