Anne Heche died of inhalation, thermal injuries, medical examiner says – USA TODAY

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Anne Heche‘s cause and manner of death have been determined by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.

According to its website, the office ruled that the actress died due to “inhalation and thermal injuries” and that her death was an accident.

Heche also suffered a sternal fracture due to blunt trauma, the office said, but it did not attribute this as a cause of her death.

USA TODAY has reached out to the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner Coroner’s office for further details.

Heche’s death came nine days after she was pulled from a burning car and hospitalized in critical condition following a crash in Los Angeles. Heche, 53, suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury” as a result of the accident and fell into a coma, according to a statement provided to USA TODAY.

Heche was later declared brain dead but remained on life support while she was evaluated as an organ donor. On Sunday evening, her representative Holly Baird told USA TODAY Heche had been “peacefully taken off life support.”

On Aug. 5, the actress drove her car into a home in Mar Vista, which erupted in flames. Without identifying the driver at the time, Tony Im, a public information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, confirmed to USA TODAY that a crash occurred at 10:55 a.m. that day, and that the vehicle “became engulfed in flames.” A representative for Heche later confirmed the accident to The Associated Press.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said in a news release that the vehicle struck a two-story home, causing “structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire.” The driver was taken to a hospital “in critical condition,” according to the release.

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TV news video showed a blue Mini Cooper Clubman, badly damaged and burned, being towed out of the home, with a woman sitting up on a stretcher and struggling as firefighters put her in an ambulance. Fifty-nine firefighters responded to the incident and took 65 minutes to extinguish the flames and rescue Heche. No other injuries were reported.

Police investigated Heche for driving under the influence of drugs when she crashed. Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman Officer Jeff Lee told The Associated Press.

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“As of today, there will be no further investigative efforts made in this case,” the department announced August 12. “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 and included in the overall case. When a person suspected of a crime expires, we do not present for filing consideration.”

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