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A video recently made public reveals a look at the seconds before journalist Michael Hastings fatally crashed his Mercedes Benz on Highland Avenue in the early morning hours of June 19.
The surveillance video was taken from Pizzeria Mozza, Nancy Silverton’s pizza restaurant frequented by A-listers and located at Melrose and Highland, a few hundred feet from the crash that ended the Rolling Stone contributor’s life.
Silverton turned the footage over to police the day after the crash, LA Weekly reports, which also has the video available on its site.
The startling footage shows Hastings’ car speed by and seconds later erupt in flames as it crashes. Hastings’ death has launched a number of conspiracy theories, with some speculating the journalist was killed for aggressively reporting high-profile stories.
The L.A. County coroner’s office has not given a final ruling on the death, as it awaits the results of a toxicology test. The coroner’s office did not respond to The Hollywood Reporter‘s request for information regarding the test.
A number of car experts have said there does not seem to be reason to suspect foul play. Hastings’ brother, Jeff Hastings, also thinks there was no conspiracy.
Silverton’s boyfriend, journalist Michael Krikorian, wrote about the newly released video in a blog post, saying he has shown it to experts who ruled out several conspiracy theories, including that the explosion was the work of a bomb.
“I hope that someone will be able to explain why Hastings’s Mercedes was speeding like a silver bullet,” he wrote. “Maybe the answer will show up in the toxicology results. I know this much: American journalism has lost a pit bull of an investigative reporter.”
Hastings’ notable works included the Rolling Stone profile “The Runaway General,” which eventually forced the resignation of the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal. Hastings’ Mercedes crashed at 4:15 a.m. June 19. He was 33.
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