US & Canada

Michael Hastings, top US journalist, killed in crash

Undated photo of Michael Hastings
Image caption Award-winning journalist Michael Hastings began his career at Newsweek magazine in 2002

Top US journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings has died in car crash in Los Angeles aged 33, his employer, news website BuzzFeed, has confirmed.

His vehicle hit a tree and caught fire on Tuesday morning, US media report.

The reporter was best known for his award-winning profile in Rolling Stone magazine of ex-US Afghanistan commander General Stanley McChrystal.

The military leader was dismissed after he openly criticised President Barack Obama in the story.

Gen McChrystal later quipped about the incident, telling military staff during his Pentagon farewell address: "I have stories on all of you, photos of many, and I know a Rolling Stone reporter."

'Fearless'

The accident which killed Mr Hastings is thought to have occurred on Highland Avenue in the Hancock Park neighbourhood.

Authorities confirmed a man had been killed in a car crash there on Tuesday morning, but would not confirm his identity.

BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, said he had learnt the news from a family member.

"We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone," Mr Smith said.

"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."

At the time of his death, Mr Hastings was also still a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.

"I'm sad that I'll never get to publish all the great stories that he was going to write, and sad that he won't be stopping by my office for any more short visits which would stretch for two or three completely engrossing hours", the magazine's managing editor Will Dana said.

Mr Hastings began his career at Newsweek magazine in 2002, and was named the publication's Baghdad correspondent in 2005.

His work has also appeared in The Washington Post, the LA Times and numerous publications.

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