Anne Heche's official cause of death ruling REVEALED days after actress was taken off life support
Anne Heche was removed from life support on August 14 after suitable organ recipients were identified by health officials
MAR VISTA, LOS ANGELES: Days after it was reported that Anne Heche had been taken off life support after her death, her manner of death has been ruled an accident. The actress, 53, died due to inhalation of smoke and thermal injuries, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed. Another “significant condition” after she crashed her car is a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma”, which is often caused when an accident victim’s chest hits the steering wheel.
Heche was removed from life support on Sunday, August 14, after suitable organ recipients were identified by health officials. She died a week after she was critically injured in a car crash, which took place while she was "high on cocaine". The drug was reportedly found in Heche's bloodstream after the crash, but she had not been drinking alcohol. She had been pictured with a bottle of vodka in her cup holder. Heche was pronounced brain dead days after the crash in which her car burst into flames.
Heche was kept on life support even after her death to preserve her organs until recipients were found. Sources told TMZ that surgeons removed multiple organs over the weekend. It is unclear which ones these are or how many. Heche is survived by her sons Homer and Atlas.
The LAPD was initially treating the crash as a potential felony considering the woman whose house the car crashed into suffered injuries. The woman, Lynne Mishele, was inside the house at the time. It is unclear how bad Mishele's injuries were. However, the police have now announced that "there will be no further investigative efforts made in this case," but "any information or records that have been requested prior to this turn of events will still be collected as they arrive as a matter of formalities", according to People.
After Heche's death, a rep for her family told TMZ, "We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact."
Meanwhile, Mishele expressed her sorrow and gave a message to the late actress' family and friends in an Instagram post. "The news of Anne Heche passing is devastating. Her family and her friends and her children especially really have suffered a great loss and my heart goes out for them," Mishele said in a video post on Instagram. "This entire situation is tragic and there really are just no words. I am sending love to everyone involved," she added. Prior to the crash, Mishele had been helping her dog heal from cancer. A GoFundMe was set up for Mishele, who narrowly escaped physical harm in the crash. The house, however, was completely damaged.