Jim Stone Forum member Paul Short posted this expert analysis of the following video.
The upshot: there was no dead body or even body parts at the scene. The wreckage is consistent with eyewitness testimony, and this analysis explains the gushing plume of water on the median.
The most likely explanation is that the car was steered by remote control.
The following is what myself and a relative who spent 25 years as a fireman have concluded after combing through the video above.
The video gives us a near 360° perspective of the accident scene, from the dashcam footage at the beginning that gives us the same view as one would have if they were inside the car before it crashed, to the all-around panorama of the crashed car as it’s on fire, to after the fire is out and the cops are standing there with firefighters and witnesses.
The witness, Jose, the spanish guy in the blue mechanic’s shirt, says the car came fast down the street and he indicates by slapping his hands that the car bounced several times, bottoming out the suspension and causing “fire” or sparks on the road. This is because when traveling at a high rate of speed on a level straight street, intersecting streets have their own road crown. You don’t notice the road crown when you’re going slow, but cross an intersection fast and it’s like launching off a ramp. When the car crossed the intersection approaching it’s final resting place, the suspension hits the road crown of the intersection causing the wheels to leave the pavement momentarily. With no rubber on the road for a split second at a high rate of speed the car is essentially flying and cannot be steered. Wheels touch down again, bounce the suspension, several times and the car is out of control.
The car then mounts the curb and hits the fire hydrant head near the driver’s side front bumper. The hydrant, even though it’s sheered off by the lateral force of the speeding 3,000+lb car is essentially still a stationary chunk of metal. The hydrant cuts a swath through the car, taking the front driver’s side wheel with it back through the car and dislodging the engine/tranny. That stuff is passing through the car and some of it rips into the gas tank, but the tank, the gas, is all in forward motion with the rest of the mass of the car.
Now, with all that mass still in motion, but starting to slow down from meeting all the resistance of the curb, hydrant and whatever else it hit … the car hits the tree, with the tree basically being inserted into the the space formerly occupied by the engine and front wheel. Coming to a sudden stop like that causes some of the gas, still in motion and wanting to stay in motion due to the laws of physics, the gas sprays forward through the swath cut through the car by the hydrant and catches fire from sparks generated by a frenzy of scraping metal all in motion at different speeds.
At the same time all this is happening, the engine ejects down the street taking a bunch of debris with it, which can be seen on the street in the video above.
All that explains what happened and it’s all clear when watching that video above.
My fireman friend, however, has a question, and he pointed out that everyone in that video have the same question…
Where is the body? Where are the body parts?? Why are the cops standing there scratching their heads???
Think about it – a fire hydrant, front wheel and attached suspension components cutting a swath back through a vehicle’s firewall into the driver’s compartment would have shredded the driver into pieces and those pieces would have ended up among the debris that got sprayed down the street along with all the other stuff we see in the video.
Yet there are no hands, feet, legbones, organs, skin… nothing, no evidence of a body or body parts and everyone in the video is asking and wondering where the driver is???
MICHAEL HASTINGS WAS NOT IN THAT WRECK.
NO ONE DIED IN THAT CRASH.
A note about fire hydrant design:
They are bolted onto a pipe called a riser. The bolts and the joint are designed to hold the hydrant onto the flange making a water and high pressure seal, but they are also designed to sheer with lateral forces strong enough, so that if something hits it the head leaves the riser. It’s engineered to do that so people are not killed in slower speed accidents. Car bumps the hydrant and knocks it over, rather than hydrant being like an unmovable object. High speed crashes… sorry, car and driver are toast