Anne Heche’s cause of death confirmed by coroner as tragic accident
Anne Heche’s cause of death has been ruled an accident by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, following her fatal car crash.
The Cedar Rapids and I Know What You Did Last Summer actress, 53, was taken to hospital on 5 August after she crashed her car in Los Angeles.
Heche suffered brain injuries and was declared legally dead on 12 August, remaining on life support until 15 August so that her organs could be donated.
The Independent reported that the coroner confirmed Heche “died due to inhalation of smoke and thermal injuries” after the car crash.
The report added a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” was another “significant condition” from the incident.
Anne Heche’s family told the Press Association after she was declared legally dead on Friday (12 August): “Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit.”
“More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work – especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love.
“She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”
Heche’s oldest son, Homer Laffoon, 20, added that he was left with a “deep, wordless sadness”, in an emotional message provided to NBC News via a spokesperson.
“Over those six days, thousands of friends, family, and fans made their hearts known to me,” he said.
“I am grateful for their love, as I am for the support of my dad, Coley, and my stepmom Alexi who continue to be my rock during this time.”
Heche famously dated Ellen DeGeneres for three-and-a-half years between 1997 and 2000, and the pair are considered to have been the first “lesbian power couple” in Hollywood.
DeGeneres said on Twitter: “This is a sad day. I’m sending Anne’s children, family and friends all of my love.”
The Los Angeles Police Department closed its driving under the influence (DUI) investigation into the crash after Heche’s death.
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