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The death of journalist Michael Hastings
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sherbetbizarreOffline
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PostPosted: 20-06-2013 11:50    Post subject: The death of journalist Michael Hastings Reply with quote

When someone like this guy dies - in a fiery wreck no less - conspiracy theories are sure to follow...


Quote:
Award-winning war correspondent Michael Hastings dies in Los Angeles car crash

The award-winning American war correspondent Michael Hastings, 33, died in a car crash in Los Angeles. Described as a "fearless journalist", the news of his death was announced by his employer Buzzfeed.

Hastings was also a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, and is perhaps best known for his cover profile of the then-supreme commander of the US army in Arfghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal. The unflinching article ended the General's career after it revealed his open criticisms of President Barack Obama, and won the 2010 Polk award for magazine reporting.

As an author, Hastings wrote about this experience in the book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan. He also penned a memorial for his then-fiance, an aide worker who was killed in a Baghdad ambush in 2007, entitled I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story.

He leaves behind his wife, the writer Elise Jordan.

In a statement, Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith said: "We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone. 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.

"He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold."

The Independent

Quote:
Michael Hastings Probed the CIA Before Fatal Hollywood Crash

Michael Hastings, the Buzzfeed writer who appeared to have died in a fiery Hollywood crash early today, had reported extensively on the CIA and was rumored to be continuing work on that beat at the time of his demise.

That Hastings had the Central Intelligence Agency in his sights is no surprise to those who knew his work. In March he gave what could now be seen as an eerie interview to Current TV about his recent Rolling Stone coverage of a CIA operative, Andrew Warren, who grew to believe he was being followed:

Quote:
He started drinking heavily. He started abusing these drugs, Xanax and Valium, he started hearing voices. He believed he was being followed. He might have actually been being followed. Maybe, probably not, you don't know. It gets into this very strange ...


"Well, he's CIA, he might have been followed," says host Cenk Uygur.

Hastings: "He might have been followed for sure. For sure."

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/06/michael_hastings_cia_coverage_crash_fire.php


Quote:
Michael Hastings conspiracy theories: Web goes wild after NSA, CIA reporter killed in crash

Less than a day after the BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone reporter died in a fiery car crash at age 33, conspiracy theorists are speculating that there is more than meets the eye over Hasting's demise.


News of reporter and writer Michael Hastings' death at the age of only 33 has shaken the journalism community across the nation, as well as fans of the writer's hard-hitting reporting.

And now, less than a day after the BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone reporter was killed in a fiery car crash, conspiracy theorists are speculating that there is more than meets the eye over Hasting's demise.

Twitter, Facebook, and sharing site Reddit were abuzz Wednesday, with some users commenting that it was suspicious that Hastings, who famously brought down U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal in a Rolling Stone cover story, died while in the middle of covering several hot-button topics like monitoring by the National Security Agency and the CIA.

Even the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, who broke the original NSA spying story, wrote on Twitter, "Michael Hastings' final article was on Democrats & the NSA stories." Greenwald linked to Hastings' final story published on BuzzFeed, which was titled "Why Democrats love to spy on Americans."

As the International Business Times notes, "some of the details surrounding the story [of Hastings' death] read like a poorly-written political thriller."

For instance, Hastings' body has not officially been identified by the coroner's office because it had been so badly burned after it crashed on Hollywood's Highland Ave. at about 4:15am Tuesday.

A call placed to the Los Angeles Coroner's office Wednesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

Commenters to local news sites posted as many questions as they did possible answers. One user wrote on LA Weekly: "Makes you wonder if it was a real accident when you hear CIA?"

Another said, "Hastings' wreck might make sense on the freeway, but I doubt he'd be dumb enough to go 100 mph on Highland. He's not some dumb college kid."

A community board on Reddit has already begun delving into possible conspiracy theories, from opinions that the car was either rigged to lose control or burst into flames at a certain time to brake wires being frayed.

"A warning to other journalists to not dig too deep," one Reddit user wrote. "Stick with the party line if you want a long, happy life."

BuzzFeed's editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, eulogized Hastings as an intrepid reporter who "was really only interested in writing stories someone didn't want him to write — often his subjects."

Smith continued: "He knew that there are certain truths that nobody has an interest in speaking, ones that will make you both your subjects and their enemies uncomfortable. They're stories that don't get told because nobody in power has much of an interest in telling them."

Hastings had also recently written a piece of CIA operative Andrew Warren, who became paranoid that he was being followed, as well as the Rolling Stone piece published in March titled "Killer Drones," talking about the austere measures of Obama's drone policy.

As IBT notes, Hastings wrote in his book, "The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan," that he received a death threat from a former McChrystal staff member.

"We'll hunt you down and kill you if we don't like what you write," the staffer threatened, according to Hastings, who calmly responded: "Well, I get death threats like that about once a year, so no worries."

Hastings went on to say: "I wasn't disturbed by the claim. Whenever I'd been reporting around groups of dudes whose job it was to kill people, one of them would usually mention that they were going to kill me."

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/conspiracy-theories-abound-michael-hastings-death-article-1.1377392


Quote:
WikiLeaks says Michael Hastings contacted it just before his death. Are they implying he was murdered?

WikiLeaks just threw some gasoline onto the conspiracy fire. On Wednesday night, they Tweeted: “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”

What exactly are they trying to say?

Michael Hastings was a much admired freelance journalist who covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and helped to bring down General Stanley McChrystal. He was tragically killed this week in a car crash in Los Angeles, after his car hit a tree. Hastings is believed to have been alone in the vehicle.

Hastings has certainly been in contact with WikiLeaks before. In 2012 he wrote a profile of Julian Assange for Rolling Stone in which he asked tough questions – but the overall tone is sympathetic. Hastings appeared willing to accept that the US government might have targeted Assange in an effort to discredit him; the interview also highlights the failure of mainstream media outlets to expose mistakes made by the US military and generally permits Assange to push his side of the story. Hastings’ empathy for WikiLeaks ties together the deceased journalist, Julian Assange and (through Assange) the leaker Bradley Manning. You can throw Edward Snowden into that mix because he, too, is an admirer of WikiLeaks. And Hastings’ last article was about the evils of the NSA – which ended with the tantalising line, “Perhaps more information will soon be forthcoming.” Glenn Greenwald Tweeted a link to the piece after Hastings' death. Of such connections are conspiracy theories made. In the minds of the highly imaginative, that is.

So what is WikiLeaks trying to say with this Tweet? Is it simply priming us for a revelation about why Hastings was being investigated? Or is it trying to imply that there’s some link between Hastings contacting Jennifer Robinson and the journalist’s death? If so, we might have – in the words of Michael Moynihan – a peg for yet another kind of truther.

The Telegraph

Journalist Michael Hastings Dies in Fiery Crash / Hollywood RAW FOOTAGE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LSY3wVuASg

Makes you wonder how the car ended up a fiery wreck on such a quiet street - or why he was going at "100mph" as the witness claims.
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JonfairwayOffline
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PostPosted: 20-06-2013 12:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By Andrew Blankstein and Robert J. Lopez

June 18, 2013, 9:39 p.m.
The Los Angeles county coroner's office had yet to determine Tuesday night whether a body recovered from a fiery car crash was that of award-winning journalist Michael Hastings.

The body was badly charred and identified only as "John Doe 117," law enforcement authorities told The Times.

Coroner's officials were attempting to match dental records to help make a positive identification, according to authorities.
The death of the 33-year-old Hastings was announced by his employer, BuzzFeed, which said he died in a Los Angeles car accident.

In a statement released Tuesday, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith said he and his team were "shocked and devastated by the news" that Hastings had died.

The statement said only that the crash was in Los Angeles but did not specify where.

There was only one fatal car crash reported in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, involving a vehicle that smashed into a tree and burst into flames in the 600 block of North Highland Avenue in Hancock Park, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The collision was so violent that the car's engine was strewn onto a yard about 100 feet from the crash site, a photo taken


http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-coroner-no-identification-michael-hastings-20130618,0,5825533.story

mmmmm at last something that may well be a conspiracy !!!!

teeth ? engine thrown 100 feet.... large explosion heard by lady in house...

why would he br traveling at 100 miles per hour ? as said ?

or maybge its a bomb.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 20-06-2013 12:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that the engine and other wreckage are so far away makes it look suspicious. Cars don't explode easily, contrary to how things are depicted in films.
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Heckler20Offline
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PostPosted: 20-06-2013 13:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mythopoeika wrote:
The fact that the engine and other wreckage are so far away makes it look suspicious. Cars don't explode easily, contrary to how things are depicted in films.


You'd be surprised, there was a crash of a McLaren F1 in Kent IIRC where the car hit a tree and bits of car and occupants were spread over an extremely wide area.
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PostPosted: 20-06-2013 14:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heckler20 wrote:
Mythopoeika wrote:
The fact that the engine and other wreckage are so far away makes it look suspicious. Cars don't explode easily, contrary to how things are depicted in films.


You'd be surprised, there was a crash of a McLaren F1 in Kent IIRC where the car hit a tree and bits of car and occupants were spread over an extremely wide area.

A McLaren F1? Handy little runabout for a trip to the shops. But, where do you put all the shopping?
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Heckler20Offline
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PostPosted: 20-06-2013 14:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pietro_Mercurios wrote:

A McLaren F1? Handy little runabout for a trip to the shops. But, where do you put all the shopping?


Well, there's the rub, lovely day, lovely companion, a secluded hotel booked for naughtiness and there's no-where to put your luggage in your £250K super car. Honestly, life can sometimes be a real struggle.
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 21-06-2013 05:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heckler20 wrote:
Mythopoeika wrote:
The fact that the engine and other wreckage are so far away makes it look suspicious. Cars don't explode easily, contrary to how things are depicted in films.


You'd be surprised, there was a crash of a McLaren F1 in Kent IIRC where the car hit a tree and bits of car and occupants were spread over an extremely wide area.


But a Mercedes C250 and a McLaren F1 aren't even in the same league when it comes to power. A car crash, no one else involved AFAIK, the timing.

Surely this is enough to raise a few eyebrows.
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PostPosted: 21-06-2013 10:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
FBI: No investigation involving journalist Michael Hastings

The FBI is denying reports that journalist and Vermonter Michael Hastings, who was killed in a single-vehicle car wreck Tuesday in Los Angeles, was the subject of a bureau inquiry.

"At no time was journalist Michael Hastings ever under investigation by the FBI," L.A. Field Office spokeswoman Laura Eimiller told the Burlington Free Press on Thursday.

In other developments Thursday in the death of Hastings, 33, a prominent war correspondent and a 1998 graduate of Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington, Vt.:

The L.A. Police Department said detectives have concluded no foul play was involved in the crash.

The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said it has positively identified Hastings as the victim, using his fingerprints.

Hastings' family, in an obituary appearing Friday in the Burlington Free Press, said a celebration of his life is set for Sunday in Milton "where his family will greet friends," and a prayer service and reception will follow.

The crash occurred at about 4:25 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of North Highland and Melrose avenues, police have said. Hastings' car crossed the median, slammed into a tree and burst into flames. Reports indicated the vehicle was speeding before the wreck. Hastings was pronounced dead at the scene.

The LAPD's comment about foul play followed a surge of conspiracy theories online that wondered whether the government might have targeted Hastings for his reporting on security, war and terrorism issues, including the National Security Agency's widespread phone and Internet snooping programs.

Spokesman Richard French said detectives did not share with his office the reasons behind their conclusion that the crash was an accident.

The Department of Coroner said an autopsy on Hastings has been performed, but the cause of death was listed as deferred pending further investigation, including toxicology and pathology reports.

"The question is 'Why? Why did he crash?'" said Ed Winter, assistant chief of investigation. "Was it something mechanical that the traffic division of the LAPD is going to be able to find? Did he have a medical condition that caused him to pass out? Did the accelerator stick? Was he under medication? Was there some other factor?"

The inquiry could take up to six weeks, Winter said. The LAPD, too, said its investigation was ongoing.

Hastings was widely known for his profile in Rolling Stone magazine of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, as he and his staff disparaged President Barack Obama and administration officials. The piece, "The Runaway General," led to McChrystal's forced resignation.

Hastings also wrote books, and he reported for the website BuzzFeed, which announced in October that Hastings would start working from its new L.A. bureau to cover national security and politics, and to contribute to entertainment coverage.

He was born in Malone, N.Y., to Brent and Molly Hastings, who now live in Milton, Vt., according to his obituary in the Free Press. A profile of Hastings in the summer issue of Vermont Life magazine says Hastings considered Vermont his home state and a sanctuary for him and his wife, Elise Jordan, who live in New York City.

The question about whether the FBI was looking into Hastings arose Wednesday after the website WikiLeaks posted a tweet that read: "Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him."

The site Thursday followed up with a second tweet: "It is not acceptable that the FBI was investigating yet another national security journalist, this time Michael Hastings."

But Eimiller, the FBI spokeswoman in L.A., categorically denied the reports.

When asked whether she was speaking just for her office or for the bureau period, she replied: "Period."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/06/20/fbi-no-investigation-hastings/2444101/
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 21-06-2013 13:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zilch5 wrote:
Heckler20 wrote:
Mythopoeika wrote:
The fact that the engine and other wreckage are so far away makes it look suspicious. Cars don't explode easily, contrary to how things are depicted in films.


You'd be surprised, there was a crash of a McLaren F1 in Kent IIRC where the car hit a tree and bits of car and occupants were spread over an extremely wide area.


But a Mercedes C250 and a McLaren F1 aren't even in the same league when it comes to power. A car crash, no one else involved AFAIK, the timing.

Surely this is enough to raise a few eyebrows.

Indeed. A very curious incident, altogether. But then, as we all know, Mercedes are such rickety firetraps. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: 21-06-2013 23:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Email from Michael Hastings before crash mentions FBI probe

In an email sent hours before his death in a single-car L.A. crash, journalist Michael Hastings wrote that his “close friends and associates” were being interviewed by the FBI and he was going to “go off the radar for a bit.”

According to the email, sent to KTLA, Hastings wrote he was working on a “big story” and was going to disappear. He told his colleagues that if the FBI came to interview them, they should have legal counsel present.

The subject of the email was “FBI Investigation re: NSA.” Hastings sent the email to his colleagues just before 1 p.m. Monday and blind-copied his friend, Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs.

Biggs supplied the email to KTLA and said he and Hastings met when the journalist was embedded with Biggs’ unit in Afghanistan in 2008, KTLA reported.

Hastings, 33, died about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when his 2013 silver Mercedes slammed into a tree in Hancock Park and burst into flames. The car was going so fast, the engine was found more than 100 feet away from the crash, authorities said.

Since Hasting’s death, wild conspiracy theories have bloomed on the Internet, implying he was murdered by powerful forces wanting to silence him.

Hastings was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Florida socialite Jill Kelley against the Department of Defense and the FBI.

He was scheduled to meet with a Kelley representative next week in L.A. to discuss the case, according to a person close to Kelley. Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-hastings-crash-emails-20130621,0,2806628.story
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 13:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

So he wanted to go off the radar. How do you do that?

a) get a cab to somewhere
b) run a few red lights at 4.30am?

By the way - here's a Mythbusters vid on some high speed car crashes. Note the absence of engines flying anywhere.

http://youtu.be/r8E5dUnLmh4
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 14:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eyewitness account:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fweyFCFKcp0&list=UU1yBKRuGpC1tSM73A0ZjYjQ

Sparks coming from the bottom of the car before he lost control and hit the tree.

The car kept exploding after impact.
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 14:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was a brand new Mercedes. I'd say that manufacturing faults were unlikely, and there would have been no wear and tear on the brakes.
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sherbetbizarreOffline
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 23:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's how a professional Conspiracy Theorist does it Cool

Quote:
Michael Hastings OBVIOUSLY murdered by bomb on gas tank

This report is now finished and VASTLY improved. Please re-copy and paste, after a LOT of analysis it's really damning

    "For all 3 of those normal reasons, which account for virtually all car fires in modern cars, the fire would have started in the engine compartment, progressed slowly, and scorched the hell out of the paint before ever reaching the gas tank. That clean paint is the be all tell all, Michael Hastings was murdered, and the rest is detail."

UPDATE: Accident scenes switched. They swapped cars and locations to hide explosive damage, PROOF IS BELOW

UPDATE: It seems to me that Hastings may have been dead, his car parked there, and then blown up with him in it. This is because the flames are way too fresh for the car to have been there long, there is no impact damage where the car "struck the tree" to cause a gas tank explosion, and there are no flames on the road behind the car to indicate it was blown up while it was moving. Keep in mind that the Loudlabs report is fake and not consistent with the original news reports which have been expunged.

This appears to be a classic mafia hit, where you are killed and then burned in a car to hide the evidence. In this case, they obviously used a bomb to blow the gas tank as evidenced by the fact that the rear portion of the car is blown open and shredded with the rest of the car nicely intact, read the initial analysis below. And obviously, there was no high speed crash as reported by the lie factory. I will be working on this throughout the day.

It was perfect to have this happen on a late late Tuesday night, the quietest night of the week, one so quiet that many restaurants will not open. This would have helped ensure a proper setup with few witnesses.

Take a look at the following screen capture of this "crash" and observe a few things:

    1. There is no impact damage to this car. The only damage there is in the back, not smashed in the front and it obviously missed the tree as it rolled to a stop. The front bumper is obscured by the tree, all the way to the tire, OOPS! .

    2. This was a Mercedes, not a Pinto, which means it did not burst into flames on its own. One (seldom quoted) eyewitness said the car "exploded". Interesting stuff.

    3. Here is where it starts to get REALLY damning - LOOK AT THE FRONT PASSENGER DOOR. The paint is PERFECT yet the entire car is ablaze. This means that whoever photographed this was on scene right away, with a camera ready to film this in the wee hours of the morning, and nail it before the fire scorched the paint. HMMMMMM . . . . . .

    4. Unlike what the so called single "eyewitness" report says about a high speed crash, the car did not impact a tree. The car did not impact ANYTHING. Look at where the car stopped. The car went off the road at a few miles an hour and missed the tree as it rolled to a stop. In contrast with the mangled car photos shown by loudlabs, the passenger door is perfectly straight and the tire is perfectly straight, with a perfectly straight fender above it. Why is it all straight in even the first LoudLabs shots, and all bent up when they want to make the image of carnage? THAT was a serious continuity error.

    5. There is no damage to the front of the car, it has no frontal impact damage AT ALL, it is damaged in the back and not crunched in from the front. HOW ON EARTH DID THAT DAMAGED BACK END HAPPEN FROM A FRONT IMPACT WHEN THE DOOR IS STILL ALIGNED PERFECTLY IN THE INITIAL SHOTS? The answer is obvious - they took footage of a different burning wreck, and copied it into this "newscast". It is, after all, Hollywood.

AND FINALLY, THE MOST DAMNING THING OF ALL -

Here we have a car FULLY, and I mean FULLY in flames, from front to back, with NO SCORCHED PAINT because the flame is too new, which means the flame went from the back of the car to the front of the car instantaneously, at the same time it breached the floor and engulfed the passenger compartment before it had a chance to scorch anything, which means ONE THING - A BOMB ON THE GAS TANK, and a PHOTOGRAPHER READY TO SNAP THE PHOTO VERY EARLY ON. Even rapid car fires take time to progress through the car, and totally scorch the paint as they progress. Only a bomb could have blown gas through the floor to the inside of the passenger compartment and under the car all the way to the front of the engine compartment and lit the whole thing up at once. That's the only explanation for the shiny paint while it sits completely engulfed in flames. That flame did not progress through that car, it was blown through it with force and the photographer was on the scene the moment it happened and bagged a perfect shot. I'd like to know how that happened - early morning walk?

All this and more at...

http://jimstonefreelance.com/hastingsmurdered.html
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 23-06-2013 07:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

theyithian wrote:
Eyewitness account:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fweyFCFKcp0&list=UU1yBKRuGpC1tSM73A0ZjYjQ

Sparks coming from the bottom of the car before he lost control and hit the tree.

The car kept exploding after impact.


There are also several Mythbusters videos on how cars do NOT explode after impact. Not once and certainly not several times. The more I read of the facts the more it bothers me.

At first I just thought "oh well here goes" you know. But "the car kept exploding after impact?" Really? Shocked
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