A fiery car crash on Highland Avenue early this morning appeared to take the life of a well-liked and accomplished journalist, Michael Hastings.
A statement from Buzzfeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith says his employee, only 33, "died in a car accident early this morning in Los Angeles." Rolling Stone also lamented the loss of one of its contributors, crediting Hastings with bringing "down the career of General Stanley McChrystal."
In a 2010 piece in the magazine by Hastings, the General bad mouthed his White House bosses, leading to the military man's resignation.
Hastings appears to have died in a single-vehicle crash on Highland near Melrose Avenue.
Police tell us it was reported at 4:25 a.m. Responding paramedics found the driver "deceased at the scene," LAPD Officer Christopher No said.
Neither the department nor the coroner's office could positively ID the remains because the "body was badly burned -- beyond recognition," No said.
He said this is what happened:
The vehicle crossed over a median and collided into a tree. The impact caused the vehicle to catch on fire.
News video from the scene shows what appears to be a fairly new Mercedes C250 coupe go up in flames with little chance of a rescue.
Smith of Buzzfeed said:
We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone. 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.