Anne Heche's death has been officially ruled an accident after the 53-year-old actress died tragically of her burns after plowing her car into a house at 90 mph. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner determined that the actress's death was caused by smoke inhalation and thermal burns.
Heche fought for her life for a week after slipping into a coma following the horrific crash on August 5. However, she failed to regain consciousness and was declared brain dead. She was taken off life support last week after her family found recipients for her organs which she had wished to donate.
Died in Accident
Burns was the major and primary cause behind Heche's death, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's office. The office also said Heche suffered a "sternal fracture due to blunt trauma" in the horror crash on August 5. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office reported that Heche also sustained a major fracture to her chest as a result of the incident.
Patients whose chests hit the steering wheel in auto accidents are most likely to have sternal fractures.
Besides, Heche sustained a "serious anoxic brain injury" brought on by a deficiency in oxygen, according to a statement issued last Friday on behalf of Heche's loved ones. The coroner's office reported that a comprehensive autopsy report was still being written.
On Sunday, Heche's life support system was shut off after she suffered horrific burns in the crash with her Mini Cooper.
She was taken off life support two days after being pronounced legally dead on August 12, after being in a coma for a week. Her life support was not turned off until her organs could be donated.
According to reports, cocaine and fentanyl were also found in Heche's body. However, nothing was mentioned in the report. The Los Angeles Police Department continued to look into whether drug use played a role in the collision, according to a department spokesperson.
Despite being photographed with a vodka bottle in her cupholder and having blood tests reveal that the actress had cocaine and fentanyl in her system at the time of the high-speed collision on August 5, authorities have determined that she had not been drinking.
This comes as a new 911 call revealed that neighbors weren't aware initially that Heche was trapped inside the car that crashed into the property According to 911 call records acquired by Fox News, the caller informed police that a "car just went through my neighbor's house" and into the "second room" and that no one was in the car.
The caller replied to the operator that the car was "10 feet" inside the home when asked if it was inside the house. A short while later, the car caught fire with Heche inside. Heche was in fact in the vehicle, as was discovered a short while later.
The caller reported that "Someone is trapped in the car" to the dispatchers. There's a large fire.
Video of the destroyed property shows firefighters working in the rubble-filled shell of the Mar Vista residence, after Heche's crash sparked a massive fire that required almost 60 firefighters more than an hour to put it out.
"I was convinced she was burned up and gone," David Manpearl, who lives nearby and was the first person on the scene, told The New York Post on Saturday. "I couldn't imagine anyone surviving that."
Heche, a star of the NBC show "The Brave," was severely burned in the collision and never recovered consciousness. According to her spokeswoman, she had been kept on life support to protect her organs for donation.
The Los Angeles Police Department decided not to pursue an investigation into the incident after Heche passed away.