The bizarre aspects prior to the car hitting the palm tree are what are in question. Speeding at 100 mph for a rather long time, 4am in the morning, the car jumping the curb into the median and leaving no skid marks on the pavement or indication of braking in the grass median.
In the live Loud Labs video of the crash scene, it is very evident he hit the tree head on. However, if you take notice of the small water geyser before the tree, when he got up on the median it is said he hit a fire hydrant. But daytime videos of that area, show a concrete cover with a square hole area and a 2" to 3" broken steel pipe inside. Next to this area is a green grade level irrigation lid and box, and another irriigation box nearby. I don't believe he hit a fire hydrant, esp. since one cannot be seen anywhere in the debris field. It was probably an irrigation main riser pipe for the median irrigation system. The pipe is centered in between the car tire tracks from where it jumped the curb and then straight into the tree. Again, the tire tracks in the median grass show no indication of braking or skidding, just tracks. The car I believe traveled over and broke this pipe and it may have ruptured the fuel tank at the same time. The car then hit the palm tree head on just left of center. This can be determined by no evidence of the left fender and the right fender and wheel are still there. The car hit the tree with such force it began a forward flip, in other words, the rear of the car flew up in the air as the car engine compartment was traveling through to the tree, causing the roof line and roof to actually smash up against the tree. This can be seen in the daytime video as well as scrapes on the palm tree at least 5' or more high. As the front of the car was traveling forward and upward into the tree, the tremendous forces broke the engine mounts and as the car pitched up the motor complete with transmission was hurled forward out of the car. Because the car hit the tree left of center, the motor missed or grazed the tree as it flew out. Had the car directly center punched the tree, the motor would have ended up in the firewall or front drivers compartment. The engine in a MB C250 is inline with rear wheel drive. Again, the engine and debris field path to where the engine came to rest, is indictive of the force of the impact and the car flipping up throwing pieces forward. Also, the final position of the car indicates the left of center impact which caused the car to rotate to the right of initial impact. The car was fully enguled in flames, which may be explained by the fuel tank being ruptured by the pipe in the median. As the car hit the palm tree and flipped up, gas would have been spewed all over the undercarriage of the car and was easily ignited by the exhaust system. A full tank of fuel would have made the fire quickly overtake the entire car. The absence of any skid marks on the pavement or the median grass prior to jumping the curb is a key question. The Mexican saying the car was bouncing up and down further back may have been the car bottoming out in a dip or rise in the roadway from the high rate of speed. If the car had it's control system hacked, which is what I believe happened, the question then becomes what control of the car did Hasting's have if any? Obviously, he had no brake or throttle control. Was the steering overridden, or was he just hanging on for dear life until he lost control and jumped the median curb. Or did he not have steering and they finally drove him off the road knowing he would hit something that would be fatal at that speed. Was he even alive at that point, if he was why didn't he have presence of mind to pull the emergency brake or try and put the car in neutral? He was speeding for quite a distance and I think he was smart enough to think of the e-brake at some point. Might not have stopped him, but would have put some skid marks down for a little bit. What position was the e-brake in post accident? Did he have a garage for his car or a carport? Was someone intially following him and he freaked and speed up in a panic to loose them. There is no doubt that hitting the tree was cause for a fatal accident, but had someone already killed him and was sending him on a joy ride? Where was he going or coming from at 4am in the morning? The accident itself is no doubt an accident, but what was the reason for him recklessly speeding, which was totally out of character for him to cause the accident? Again, I believe his car's onboard computer was hacked. I wish I could actually have been at the scene to get a better idea of things, and see the car itself. But from what I can gather from daytime video's of the scene and the Loud Labs video, the accident itself is the aftermath of a high speed head on collision with a palm tree and a ruptured fuel tank. http://tradewithdave.com/?p=17025 Daytime video of scene, curb scrapes, tire marks, and irrigation pipe and box area. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_BwZ0q37Ic