20 June 2013
LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings was ruled an accident by police, but conspiracy theories continued to circulate on Friday.
Hastings, 33, was killed in a fiery solo-vehicle crash in Hancock Park early Tuesday morning.
He was best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone article that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was the former U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs told KTLA that he received an email from Hastings on Monday.
Biggs had known Hastings since 2008, when the journalist was embedded in his unit in Afghanistan.
“On Monday morning, I woke up and I got an email, and it’s very panicked,” Biggs said.
He was blind-copied on the email, which was sent to Hastings’ colleagues.
In part, it said that the feds were interviewing his close friends and associates, and that he was onto a big story and needed to get off the radar.
The FBI has denied that Hastings was ever under investigation.
“It alarmed me very much,” Biggs said. “I just said it doesn’t seem like him. I don’t know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me,” he said.
The email was sent just before 1 p.m. on Monday, 15 hours before the deadly crash.
Breaking news photographer Scott Lane happened to be less than a mile from the scene of the crash, and shot video of the fiery aftermath.
Video taken from his car’s dashcam also caught what appeared to be Hastings’ Mercedes minutes before the crash, speeding through a red light.
More than 30 seconds pass after Hastings’ car goes by, and no other cars pass through the intersection.
“There’s no cars that are following him,” Lane said. “He flies by and 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds goes by… No cars are following him.”
Still, the conspiracy theories continued on the Internet, and Biggs said he just wants to know the truth about what happened to his friend.
“I’m going to be willing to help and do whatever I can and make sure that people look into this story and make sure they find out whatever happened.”
Investigators were looking into whether Hastings’ car had a mechanical problem, or if he may have had a medical condition that caused him to crash, police said.