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

(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.

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Showing 3 of 9 comments
Aug 22, 2013 11:20 AM CDT
Who is this "relative" who allegedly said that he was using hallucinogens? Still doesn't explain that very weird car crash even if the toxicology report had been positive. Not enough drugs in his system to impede him in any way.
Aug 21, 2013 1:25 PM CDT
I have seen cars wraped around trees and poles, that were doing 100 plus miles per hour. But I have never herad of or seen the engine and transmission being over 100 feet from said crash. The engines were in the front seat.
Aug 21, 2013 10:22 AM CDT
"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." Of course he thought the FBI was investigating him. He was higher than an SR-71. I'm sure this guy did adequate research to write his 'stories'. But, how credible would you consider someone who was addicted to a hallucinogen and meth? I feel for this guys family, they have to defend his memory and try to back his achievements with what? A huge "BUT," he was battling some heavy drug addictions. Throw all these conspiracy theories out the window.