"In an email to colleagues, which was copied to and released by Hastings' friend, Army Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs, Hastings said that he was "onto a big story", that he needed to "go off the radar", and that the FBI might interview them. WikiLeaks announced that Hastings had also contacted Jennifer Robinson, one of its lawyers, a few hours prior to the crash, and the LA Weekly reported that he was preparing new reports on the CIA at the time of his death. His widow Elise Jordan said his final story was a profile of CIA Director John O. Brennan. The FBI released a statement denying that Hastings was being investigated.
USA Today reported that in the days before his death, Hastings believed his car was being "tampered with" and that he was scared and wanted to leave town.
'At 12:30 a.m. on the morning he died, an agitated Michael Hastings went to his neighbor and friend Jordanna Thigpen and asked to borrow her car. He said he was afraid to drive his own car, because he believed that someone had been tampering with it.
"He was scared, and he wanted to leave town," Thigpen recalls.
But she declined, saying her car was having mechanical problems. When she woke up, Hastings was dead, his car having crashed into a tree.'
Hastings died in a single vehicle automobile crash in his Mercedes C250 Coupé at approximately 4:25 a.m. in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. A witness to the crash said the car seemed to be traveling at maximum speed and was creating sparks and flames before it fishtailed and crashed into a palm tree. Video from a nearby security camera purportedly shows Hastings' vehicle speeding and bursting into flames. "