Journalist Michael Hastings, best known for a Rolling Stone feature that led to the resignation of
The vehicle crossed a median, struck a tree and burst into flames in the Hancock Park area, LAPD Officer Christopher No said. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
Coroner's officials said they could not immediately identify the victim, saying the body was burned beyond recognition. Without identification or next of kin, neither the LAPD nor the coroner's department could officially identify the body found in the vehicle.
But in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith confirmed that Hastings died earlier in an L.A. car crash, saying his team was "shocked and devastated by the news."
"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," Smith said. "He wrote stories that would otherwise have gone unwritten, and without him there are great stories that will go untold."
Hastings, who covered the wars in