After the Weekly reported today that LAPD traffic investigators believe the car tied in reports to journalist Michael Hastings was going faster than 60 miles per hour before a fatal crash in Hollywood, we were tipped off to new video showing a vehicle blasting through a red light just moments before that collision.
The video, by freelance TV news crew LOUD LABS NEWS, shows a vehicle blazing through a red light on Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, only four blocks from the crash:
The video appears to have been taken from a LOUD LABS vehicle awaiting the night's news.
Freelance videographers work the night shift in L.A. because local TV stations don't budget enough for expensive, three-person news vans to work overnight. The freelance crews listen to police scanners and sell their footage to the stations.
In this case, the LOUD NEWS videographer appears to be in standby mode, with a camera rolling, when a car blasts through that light.
Soon after, multiple reports are heard on an LAPD frequency regarding an “ambulance traffic” accident at Highland and Melrose avenues only a few blocks south.
The video indicates those calls came in four minutes later, but we'd guess, given the vehicle's speed and proximity to the crash site, that if it was the same Mercedes connected to the Hastings crash, it was more like a matter of seconds.
The videographer hauls it down to the crash site and spots a vehicle in flames. The video posted above ends just as the one we reported last night, which shows the fiery inferno, begins.
That solo-car accident was reported at 4:25 a.m. Tuesday, LAPD said.
Ex-LAPD traffic official Harry B. Ryon said the position of the engine indicates the car was traveling at least 60 miles an hour.
The cause was still under investigation.
Conspiracy theorists have noted that Hastings covered the CIA and other high-powered officials and even received death threats over his journalism.