Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Automotive Writer on Hastings Crash: Fire Doesn't Happen Like That

Jack Baruth writes at The Truth About Cars about the car crash that killed Michael Hastings, be sure to view the video of the fire:
The definitive video of the incident can be found here. It features everything you’d want in a crash story, including:

The ejected motor and transmission

Video of the car burning with the fury of a thousand suns[...]

I’m not here to speak ill of the dead. I’m here to state that I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero. Modern cars are very good at not catching fire in accidents. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category.

Nor is the C-Class known for sudden veering out of control into trees and whatnot. My father’s been running a C350 of that generation around Hilton Head for a while and if anybody could make a C-Class veer into a palm tree without warning it would be him.

And this from Wikileaks:


UPDATE

Just hours before his death, Hastings contacted a lawyer about an FBI investigation, details here.

9 comments:

  1. As someone who used to live within walking distance from that crash site I can tell you this much:

    He was likely attempting to make the light at Melrose and sped up. Its a rear wheel drive car as seen in photo with drive shaft attached. There is a rise on both northbound and southbound lanes and he likely got light, uncompressed the suspension which will cause wheel spin if he was still on the throttle-unless there is traction control.

    As he spun the rear wheels he jack knifed and hit the curbing, lifted off and tumbled once he landed on the grass island. That ripped the engine out with high pressure fuel injected lines spraying fuel all over the place-hence fire

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  2. @YieldQwest: Great idea, but it's a Mercedes. It definitely has traction control, and you probably can't turn it all the way off. Still possible? You seem to know a lot about it.

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  3. Happens all the time at that intersection. Yeah, that's the ticket!

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  4. If they have to use dental records, maybe he faked his own death. This was the plot of a Walter Mathau movie some years back. He switched dental records, set the car on fire, and made off with the cash. If Hastings thought the gov't was out to get him, what better way to escape than faking your own death?

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  5. MERCEDES C250- LIGHTWEIGHT/TURBOCHARGED, MAN W/ A REPUTATION FOR SHAKING THINGS UP, AND GOING DANGEROUS PLACES. Should have bought an American car. So long NAZI supporter!

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    1. looks like you are part of the problem....i'm sad it wasn't you in the car. we could do with less of your type!

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  6. Fast, Turbocharged, foreign car with a "Rock-star" at the wheel. I'm glad no innocent people were hurt by this careless, danger-seeking cowboy.

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  7. John Mellencamp lives near by. He drives a Mercedes. He has a motorcycle too (very dangerous!). Should I be nervous? Innocent and asleep or mockingbird?

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