The death of Hollywood actor Anne Heche has been ruled an accident, according to the coroner’s results released Wednesday.
Nearly two weeks after Heche, 53, drove her car into a Los Angeles home, it has been revealed that she died from inhalation and burns as a result of the fiery crash, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner said. Heche also suffered other injuries including a fractured sternum due to blunt trauma.
The date of Heche’s death is listed as Aug. 11 in the coroner’s filing. At the time, she was kept on life support for organ donation. She was taken off life support on Sunday.
A full autopsy report is still being completed, the coroner’s office said.
Last week a representative for Heche said the actor suffered an anoxic brain injury and was in a coma. At the time, she was in critical condition and not expected to survive.
Police also said last week that blood tests reportedly revealed Heche had drugs in her system at the time of the crash.
The Los Angeles police did not comment on what kind of drug Heche had allegedly taken, saying that would be “determined by the second test” — but multiple sources, including the Los Angeles Times, reported the suspected substance is cocaine.
Heche was formerly being investigated by police for driving under the influence, but ABC News has now reported that the investigation ceased on Aug. 12 due to the actor’s declining condition.
Heche’s Mini Cooper sped out of control and plowed into a house in the Mar Vista neighbourhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 5, causing her vehicle and the home to burst into flames. Only Heche was injured in the crash. The woman who lived in the house, who was home at the time of the incident, escaped unharmed with her pets.
Heche was the winner of a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991 for her roles as identical twin sisters in the NBC soap opera Another World. Heche also starred in the 1998 adventure comedy Six Days Seven Nights with Harrison Ford and played alongside Demi Moore and Cher in the HBO TV movie If These Walls Could Talk.
She became one half of Hollywood’s most famous same-sex couple at the time when she dated comedian and actor Ellen DeGeneres. Against the wishes of her studio, Heche came out publicly at the 1997 red carpet premiere for disaster flick Volcano, taking DeGeneres along as her date.
The pair were together for more than three years before Heche ended the relationship.
Later in her career, Heche starred as a senior member of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the NBC TV series The Brave and appeared on competition show Dancing With The Stars in late 2020.
Heche is survived by her two sons, Atlas and Homer.
— with files from Reuters.