(KTLA) – Actress Anne Heche likely died as a result of the fire that broke out after her car crashed into a home earlier this month, authorities say.
Her death about a week after the fiery wreck in Mar Vista was due to smoke inhalation and “thermal injuries,” the Los Angeles County Coroner announced Wednesday. The coroner added that the manner of death was an “accident,” and that Heche suffered a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma.”
Witnesses recorded video of Heche speeding through city streets before crashing into the two-story home and sparking a fire on August 5. A Venice salon owner spoke with Nexstar’s KTLA, saying Heche had visited his store minutes before the crash.
Authorities believe Heche was under the influence of cocaine and possibly other drugs at the time of the crash, TMZ reported over the weekend.
Heche was removed from life support on Sunday after her organs were harvested for donation. She was 53.
The Ohio native, who won an Emmy Award for the NBC soap opera “Another World,” was also known for roles in movies “Donnie Brasco” and “Six Days, Seven Nights,” as well as her high-profile relationship with Ellen DeGeneres.
After her split from DeGeneres, Heche was hospitalized after knocking on the door of a stranger in a rural area near Fresno, California. Authorities said she had appeared shaken and disoriented, and spoke incoherently to the residents.
In her memoir “Call Me Crazy,” Heche talked about her lifelong struggles with mental health and a childhood of abuse.
Over the past two decades, Heche’s career pivoted several times. In 2017, she hosted a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Jason Ellis called “Love and Heche.”In 2020, Heche made her way into the podcast world. She launched “Better Together” which she cohosted alongside Heather Duffy Boylston. The show was described as a way to celebrate friendship.
She also worked in smaller films, on Broadway, and on TV shows. She recently had recurring roles on the network series “Chicago P.D.,” “All Rise,” and was a contestant on Season 29 “Dancing With the Stars.”
Heche was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon from 2001 to 2009. The two had a son, Homer, together. She had another son, named Atlas, during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”