Hastings car crash

The driver of this vehicle, believed to be journalist Michael Hastings, was killed when it hit a tree and burst into flames on North Highland Avenue near Melrose Avenue. Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Police Department and coroners office have yet to confirm that a fatal single-car crash near Hancock Park early Tuesday involved BuzzFeed journalist Michael Hastings, the Los Angeles Times reports. Hastings, 33, is best known for a Rolling Stone magazine feature that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

Hastings’ vehicle crossed a median, struck a tree and burst into flames, according to police. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim’s body was found in the vehicle and burned beyond recognition, the coroner said.

BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith confirmed Hastings died in the car crash and released the following statement: “Michael was a great, fearless journalist with an incredible instinct for the story and a gift for finding ways to make his readers care about anything he covered, from wars to politicians. He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold.”

Hastings was a war corespondent in Iraq and Afghanistan and worked for GQ and Newsweek. He wrote a book about his fiance, who was killed in a car bombing in Iraq in 2007, called “I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.” He later authored “The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan.”