Journalist Hastings' Family Planned Intervention

But coroner says drugs didn't play role in crash

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 20, 2013 6:29 PM CDT

(Newser) – The coroner's report about the fatal car crash of journalist Michael Hastings paints the picture of a troubled man: It quotes an unidentified relative as saying the family was about to stage an intervention because the 33-year-old Hastings had started abusing drugs again after 14 years, reports the Los Angeles Times. In particular, the relative said Hastings was using a hallucinogenic called DMT. The report, however, said drugs didn't play a role in the June crash. While small amounts of meth and marijuana were found in Hastings' system, the coroner concluded that he had taken both hours earlier and was no longer intoxicated, reports USA Today. (Hastings had a medical marijuana card for post-traumatic stress syndrome, from his days as an overseas war journalist.)

Hastings slammed his car into a tree, and the report concluded that he died "within seconds" from blunt-force trauma. Because he was the journalist whose reporting led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Hastings' death set off all kinds of conspiracy theories. It didn't help that Hastings himself sent out an email to friends and colleagues before the crash to say he thought the feds were investigating him as he pursued another "big story." The FBI said in a statement that Hastings was never under investigation.

A file photo of the late Michael Hastings.   (AP Photo/Blue Rider Press/Penguin, File)
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