Los Angeles officials declared that actress Anne Heche died in an accidental manner after ramming her car into a house at high speeds nearly two weeks ago.
The 53-year-old “Six Days Seven Nights” star was taken off of life support on Aug. 14, when donors for her organs were located, after she was declared brain dead.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner determined that Heche’s cause of death was “smoke inhalation and thermal injuries,” after speeding into the front of a Mar Vista home at over 90 MPH on Aug. 12.
“The Brave” star was trapped in her Mini Cooper for the hour it took for 59 firefighters to extract her from the burning vehicle. The coroner’s office found that Heche experienced a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” from the force of the accident.
The podcast host was reportedly intoxicated from cocaine and likely fentanyl, when she hit a parking garage at an apartment complex, and refused the help of residents before speeding off. Minutes later, Heche caused the accident that ended her life and destroyed the home she crashed into.
“A car just went through my neighbor’s house,” the 911 caller told authorities. “Somebody is opening the back to see if we can access because they’re kinda trapped … inside the car.”
The actress was awake and seemingly combative with rescuers while they wheeled her into an ambulance, but she was put on a ventilator for significant pulmonary distress at a local hospital and reportedly suffered from a severe anoxic brain injury from oxygen deprivation.
Heche was under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department for a felony DUI, but the inquiry was dropped after her death.
Her “Better Together” podcast partner, Heather Duffy, memorialized the actress on Instagram. “I had to take a moment to begin to process the profound loss of my beautiful friend with the kindest soul I’ve known,” she shared.
“Anne was joyful despite all the challenges that she faced in her life. She was truthful despite being in a business that is make-believe,” Duffy continued. “Spreading love and kindness in the world is what mattered most to her, even if, at times, the world did not give it back.”