Anne Heche wasn’t high at time of fiery crash, coroner finds

Anne Heche arrives at the premiere of “The Tender Bar” at the TCL Chinese Theatre, on Dec. 12, 2021, in Los Angeles. The coroner’s office says actor Heche died from burns and inhalation injury after her fiery car crash and the death has been ruled an accident. The cause of her death was released on the Los Angeles County coroner’s website Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, although a formal autopsy report is still being completed. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

(KTLA) – Despite the presence of drugs in her system, actress Anne Heche was not high when she crashed into a Los Angeles home, sparking a fire that ultimately led to her death, according to the county medical examiner-coroner.

Heche, 53, died in August after the crash left her in a coma.

Anne Heche Crash
Crews respond to a fire in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 5, 2022. (KTLA)

At the time, authorities reported that she had multiple drugs in her system, including cocaine and fentanyl. However, the coroner’s autopsy found that the cocaine in her system, as well as cannabis, were present from previous use, and she was not under their influence at the time of the crash, according to a report in People.

Additionally, the fentanyl was supplied to Heche while she was at the hospital after the crash.

Police initially planned to pursue a felony driving under the influence charge against Heche, as she was captured on video speeding through streets in the moments before the crash, but the case was dropped when her condition deteriorated.

The coroner determined that Heche’s cause of death was inhalation and thermal injuries, with a fractured sternum from blunt trauma playing a role as well.

Before her death, Heche remained on life support so her organs could be harvested.

“Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy,” Heche’s family said in a statement before she was removed from life support. “Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”


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