A coroner has declared the death of Michael Hastings an “accident.”
Hastings, a journalist who contributed to Rolling Stone and reported for BuzzFeed, died in June in Los Angeles after his car burst into flames.
The report released Tuesday says the 33-year-old Hastings died instantly of “massive blunt force trauma” the same morning family was due to arrive in town to convince him to go to detox. Investigators say after 14 years sober, he’d started to use drugs again in the last month after moving to California from New York.
The cause of death was declared massive blunt force trauma consistent with a high-speed crash, according to the coroner’s report, reported Andrew Blankstein of the LA Times.
There have been reports that Hastings was working on an expose about CIA Director John Brennan just before his death. The LAPD has ruled out foul play at this point.
Hastings won a George Polk Award for his Rolling Stone article that led to U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as U.S. commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan.
The FBI has denied that it was probing Hastings before his death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.