Michael Hastings’ trauma and torment

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33-year-old investigative reporter Michael Hastings died in the early morning hours of June 18 in a fiery car crash in Hancock Park. The coroner’s office this week classified his death an accident.

Hastings was heading southbound on Highland Avenue when his Mercedes-Benz crashed into palm trees in the median and caught fire. Medical examiners say they found traces of methamphetamine and marijuana in Hastings’ system, but decided those substances did not likely contribute to his death.

Gene Maddaus writes for LA Weekly and has a story out today about Hastings. He joined KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis for a conversation about the tragic death and some of the events that led up to it.