Santa Monica Blvd-The Witnesses
Michael Hastings Crash Pt 2
Witness Michael Carter
The mystery begins at the corner of Highland and Santa Monica Blvd. on June 18th, 2013 at 4:17 a.m.
Michael Carter had stopped for a red light at Santa Monica and Highland. There was also a taxi in the right lane. They were southbound on Highland at the northwest corner of Santa Monica Blvd. waiting for the light to change. Suddenly, a Mercedes flew by, running the light. Carter said that Hastings’ car shook his car “like a freight train going by”. In his own words, here is what he saw:
“No telling how fast the driver was going. A taxi driver was in the far right lane and we looked at each other, both saying, “What the hell was that?”… By the time the light changed, I could only see the tail lights of the white Mercedes—it was probably past Willoughby by then which was the next red light that I got stopped at. The Mercedes was flying down Highland. The same cab driver pulled up to the light at Willoughby [Avenue] and I looked over at him again in disbelief. Right as I did, the cab driver said something to the effect of, “He didn’t make it.” The [Mercedes] was all the way south of Melrose [Avenue] at this point.
I looked down Highland and saw a giant fireball at the base of one of the palms that line the medians on Highland. It was surreal. Even from as far away as I was, I could see how violent an impact it had been. I live in the area so I parked near my place and sprinted over to the the scene of the accident. As I was running, a couple of workers from the service station at the corner of Melrose and Highland were also running over. In broken English, one of them and I traded stories of what we saw as we ran. From what I could understand, he saw the car come off the ground at some point—maybe when [it] crossed Melrose.
A Hancock Park resident was already spraying the car with his water hose when we got to it, but wasn’t making any progress. The car was engulfed. I couldn’t see inside it. Fire trucks and police cars were at the scene almost immediately, it seemed.
I stayed and watched firefighters extinguish the blaze. Bummed a cigarette from a guy named Jeremy and traded stories about what we saw. He was right around Melrose and Highland when it happened. I gave a statement to police and walked home.”
Witness Scott Lane
Meanwhile, Scott Lane of Loudlabs was parked in a gas station at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Highland. His dash cam was still turned on from his last assignment. He was not looking up when the Mercedes rocketed by and did not know that his dash cam had recorded it. Lane heard the police call on his scanner about two minutes later. He had already left the station heading in a different direction. He turned back immediately upon hearing the report on his scanner and raced south down Highland. His camera captured the horrifying inferno.
Lane recorded the various locations where significant debris had been ejected. Curiously, although the purported collision with the palm tree had occurred roughly mid block, he documented debris in the north bound lanes near Clinton Ave. approximately 150 feet from the collision. The engine and transmission sat even further south right at the corner of Clinton and Highland, also on the north bound side.
Lane captured the bubbling water in the center of the median roughly 10 feet south of the unholy conflagration. The U shaped plastic pipe and flow control valve had been sheared off. The front driver side tire was filmed laying on the sidewalk, not far from Clinton Ave., but on the south bound side of Highland.
Witness Jose Rubalcava
Jose was at the donut shop on the corner of Highland and Melrose, Jose’s day starts early, well before most of the city wakes up for work. The donut shop is only a few blocks down the street from his job.
He was leaving when he was shocked to see Hastings’ car blast through the intersection of Highland and Melrose Blvd. Jose had a very bad feeling. Scott Lane recorded Jose’s statement in the video that is posted on You Tube. Jose’s mother tongue is Spanish so he struggled to express what he saw in English. He communicated that the car had been going very, very, fast and seemed to speed up after crossing Melrose. He added that he could see sparks and fire coming from the underside of the car and that about 50 feet south of Melrose, the car bounced three or four times and that’s when the car went out of control and crashed into the tree.
I ran across some video of a car that had caught fire and exploded on camera. Let’s see what a car that catches fire and explodes actually looks like:
Can you say that it sounds anything like a bomb going off, as a nearby Highland resident described of the Hastings crash? Would you say that it generated enough energy to throw car parts 150 feet? Hardly. Are the flames shooting two stories high into the sky? Not quite. Could that explosion have propelled a 700 lb. engine and transmission 200 feet? Rather unbelievable, especially with a Mercedes. Yet LAPD insists that Hastings’ crash was clearly an accident. Clearly, they are lying.
If there is a Part 2, can Part 3 be far behind?
- The Curious Death of Michael Hastings (adriaen22.wordpress.com)
- A Witness’s Account of the Michael Hastings Crash (nationalreview.com)
- Freelance Video of BuzzFeed Reporter Michael Hastings’ Car In Flames (mediaite.com)