Report deems actress’s death accidental
By Sam Catanzaro
A coroner’s report finds that actress Anne Heche was not impaired by any illicit substances when she fatally crashed her car into a Mar Vista house over the summer.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), the crash occurred around 11 a.m. on August 5 at a two-story home on the 1700 block of South Walgrove Avenue in Mar Vista. An LAFD spokesperson said the Heche’s Mini Cooper “struck and came to rest well within a 738- square-foot two-story home, built in 1952, causing structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire.”
Heche suffered severe burns in the crash and was taken to a local hospital where she was put on life support. Heche was taken off life support on August 11.
The day before Heche passed away, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), said that a blood test showed Heche was under the influence of narcotics at the time of the crash. According to the report released this week from the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner, however, Heche was not impaired at the time of the crash. The report found that testing showed the presence of benzoylecgonine – an inactive metabolite of cocaine – in her system but there was no evidence of actual impairment at the time of the crash. Fentanyl was also detected in her urine but its presence was attributed to medication she received while being treated at the hospital. The Coroner found that there was no fentanyl detected in her bloodstream when Heche arrived at the hospital.
According to the report, Heche’s death was “accidental” and that she died of “inhalation and thermal injuries” as a result of the fire that occurred following the crash. The report also found that a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma also significantly contributed to death.”