Autopsy Of Michael Hastings Finds Prescence Of Meth, Marijuana

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles coroner's office confirmed that journalist Michael Hastings died from "traumatic injuries" after his car crashed at high speed at 4:25 a.m. on June 18. They disclosed that small amounts of meth and marijuana were also found in his system, but not enough to have caused the crash.

Hastings had been sober for more than a decade, but in the last month, had been using drugs once more, said the coroner. That conclusion was based on interviews with family members, who told the coroner's office that Hasting's brother had planned a visit the following day, hoping to get his brother clean.

A medical marijuana card was found in Hastings' wallet. He'd been prescribed the drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, which had followed his time as a war journalist in Iraq. On the evening on June 18, he had last been seen at around one in the morning, and the witness said Hastings was 'passed out' at the time.

The coroner ruled the incident an "accidental death," and in spite of a gaggle of conspiracy theories, Hastings' family agreed. “You know, my gut here, was that it was just a really tragic accident, and I’m very unlucky, and the world was very unlucky," his widow, Elise Jordan, told Piers Morgan.

Because Hastings had e-mailed fellow reporters days before, telling them that he was investigating the CIA and the FBI might interview them, some critics believed his death to be suspicious. A counter-terrorism expert said that the circumstances were consistent with a cyber-attack on Hastings' car. (The FBI has denied any involvement or investigation into Hastings.)

"I don't believe it's a conspiracy," his brother told press. "There's no part of me that's troubled by that."

For our collection of Hasting's most notable works, click here.