A final toxicology report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office now says that beloved actress Anne Heche had no narcotics in her system when she crashed her car into a Los Angeles home in August.
On August 5, Heche crashed her blue Mini Cooper into a Mar Vista residence, which ignited a fire that required 59 firefighters and took 65 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which caused catastrophic structural damage to the house. Heche suffered second-degree burns on 12 percent of her body, including to her the right side of her face/neck, right shoulder, left upper chest and her upper extremities.
At the time, TMZ reported that Heche was “flailing wildly as they put her in the ambulance” after she was removed from her burning vehicle. Prior to crashing into the home, Heche narrowly missed hitting a pedestrian who was walking on a sidewalk in the same neighborhood. Shortly after missing the pedestrian, Heche’s car struck a Jaguar and then she struck a nearby garage before putting her car in reverse and barreling away from onlookers, leaving the scene of the accident with her tires squealing. The driver of the Jaguar was not injured.
After the crash, Heche was taken to a nearby hospital where she was intubated.
Citing law enforcement sources, TMZ reported that Heche was “under the influence” of cocaine and possibly fentanyl, but not alcohol.
However on Tuesday, the LA County coroner said a final toxicology report showed the presence of benzoylecgonine, an inactive cocaine metabolite that only indicates past use. “Therefore there was no evidence of impairment by illicit substances at the time of the crash,” the coroner said.
A urine toxicology result detected “medications given to her after being treated in the hospital (including fentanyl) and prior use of marijuana, but not at the time of injury.”
Heche played Marley Love/Victoria Hudson on the soap opera Another World from 1984 to 1992 before she spread her wings to pursue the big screen. After many appearances in many projects, she appeared as Maggie in the Academy Award-nominated 1997 film Donnie Brasco opposite Johnny Depp as Brosco.
Her performance in Donnie Brasco earned her a leading role in Six Days Seven Nights opposite Harrison Ford. Around the same time, Heche publicly dated Ellen DeGeneres which catapulted the two of them into the pop culture spotlight as Hollywood’s first lesbian power couple.
Heche has maintained a career in Hollywood with recurring roles in TV shows such as Ally McBeal, Everwood, Nip/Tuck, Men in Trees, Hung, Save Me, and Chicago P.D., just to name a few. She currently has several projects in post-production as well.
The mother of two was declared brain dead on Aug. 12 and taken off life support on Aug. 15. Heche was 53.