- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Michael Hastings, a 33-year-old journalist who grabbed national headlines for reporting on Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s criticisms of President Obama for Rolling Stone magazine, died Tuesday in a fiery car crash in Los Angeles.

Mr. Hastings also reported for BuzzFeed, which first published news of his death.

“We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone,” said BuzzFeed’s editor in chief, Ben Smith, in a statement on the news site around 7 p.m. Tuesday. “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.”

Mr. Hastings was a native of Vermont.

His June 2010 story on Gen. McChrystal’s ridiculing of Mr. Obama’s military leadership and of other administration officials, was called “The Runaway General” and angered many. Some saw the general as out-of-line with military rules that prohibit open denouncement of superior officers. Others rallied around the general, who said he thought his comments were off-the-record, off-the-cuff remarks.

Either way, Gen. McChrystal resigned shortly after.

The crash took place in the early morning hours in Hollywood, USA Today reported. Mr. Hastings‘ vehicle crossed over the median and slammed into a tree, erupting in flames. Police said the vehicle appeared to be speeding at the time of crash, KTLA reported.