Autopsy found traces of drugs after Hastings death

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 21, 2013 at 2:32 am •  Published: August 21, 2013
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Hastings died instantly of massive blunt force trauma when he apparently lost control of his 2013 silver Mercedes while traveling at high speed and hit a tree in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles. The crash occurred at about 4:20 a.m. and was caught on at least one video camera that showed Hastings driving rapidly through a red light.

Family members told investigators that Hastings had been "sober" for 14 years but started to use drugs again over the past month. He had moved a couple months earlier from New York to California and continued his work as a writer for BuzzFeed.

Toxicology results showed small amounts of amphetamine in his blood, which indicated he had possibly taken methamphetamine many hours before his death. Traces of marijuana were also present, indicating he'd taken it hours earlier.

The report also noted that Hastings had hit a pole while driving several years ago and was possibly misusing Ritalin at the time. He was institutionalized for rehabilitative care around 1999.

A family member told investigators Hastings didn't have a history of suicide attempts but believed he was invincible and could jump off a balcony and be fine.

Hastings won a 2010 George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone magazine cover story "The Runaway General," which led to the resignation of U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal as U.S. commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan.

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Tami Abdollah can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/latams .