Thirty seven days after Michael Hastings died when his speeding Mercedes Benz burst into a fireball upon smashing into a tree on Highland Avenue in Los Angeles, the investigation into his death continues.
Yet, despite a strong conspiracy outcry, the lead LAPD detective on the case said Wednesday that "So far, all evidence leads to an accident."
"There has not been any change to the findings of our initial investigation," said Det. Connie White, referring to the LAPD's announcement two days after the crash that there was "no foul play involved."
When asked if alcohol had been involved, Det. White paused briefly and said "I cannot comment at this time."
Hastings, best known as the reporter whose 2010 Rolling Stone profile of outspoken, Obama-bashing, Biden-slurring General Stanley McChrystal led to the general's ouster, was speeding southbound on Highland Avenue at Melrose Avenue at around 4:20 a.m.. Captured on a restaurant's security camera, the car swerves, jumps the median curb that divides north and south traffic, hits a 30" tall metal water pipe causing a large spark to the undercarriage of the car, then hits a palm tree and bursts into flames. The term "burst into flames" is a cliche, but Hastings' "burst" might have set a new standard, at least for a car crash.
Regarding internet gossip about cyber-hacking into the Mercedes, such a disabling the brakes and jamming the accelerator, Det. White said "There has been no evidence at all leading in that direction."
White did strongly knock down an internet claim by the site "infowars" which, based on a report by Kimberly Dvorak of San Diego, stated the LAPD has ordered its officers and detectives not to speak about the crash. "I have never been ordered not to speak about a case." .