Michael Hastings death was widely reported in the news media today. Most accounts lacked mention of the details, saying only that Hastings, a prominent and rising young journalist, had died in the early morning hours on Tuesday. This scant information is unusual when a celebrity dies, leading experienced viewers of trauma wondering what information was known but left unreported.
Now, the Los AngelesÂ is reporting that a badly burned body believed to be Hastings was recovered from a car that was traveling on Melrose Ave. and burst into flames after a one car crash that flipped the vehicle upside down at around 4 a.m.
Officials have yet to identify the body officially or perform an autopsy. Given the mechanism and hour of the crash, likely there will be toxicology tests done to determine if the driver was under the influence or driving while impaired.
Sadly, the scenario of a young man driving late at night who dies in a one car motor vehicle crash is all too familiar to trauma surgeons. Almost always, these cases involve alcohol or drugs and high rates of speed.
Hastings was certainly reported by his friends to willing to “get pretty drunk.” No doubt officials will be looking very closely at the circumstances that might have caused the crash. Fortunately, no other vehicles or pedestrians were involved.
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