The 33-year-old journalist’s fiery 4 a.m. single-car crash June 18 in Los Angeles came 15 hours after he sent friends a panicked email warning them the FBI was on his tail.
“Hey [redacted] — the feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,'” reads the email, acquired Friday by KTLA-TV. “Perhaps if the authorities arrive ‘BuzzFeed GQ’, er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.
“Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radat (sic) for a bit.
“All the best, and hope to see you all soon,” Hastings signed off. The email was sent at around 1 p.m. Monday.
Fifteen hours later, Hastings’ speeding Mercedes hit a tree in a residential area of Los Angeles.
According to police, early evidence suggests the impact caused the engine to land about a hundred feet from the vehicle. This would have caused the gas lines to be sheared, which would explain the fire.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC