Anne Heche was not impaired at time of deadly crash, autopsy reveals

LOS ANGELES — A report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner indicates that actress Anne Heche was sober when she crashed into a west Los Angeles home in August.

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A report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner shared with the Los Angeles Times said that Heche was not impaired by alcohol or any other substance at the time of her death.

Heche died on Aug. 11, one week after the crash that left her trapped in her burning vehicle for nearly an hour. Audio from the Los Angeles Fire Department shared with KNBC revealed firefighters were unable to access Heche’s 2020 Mini Cooper for at least 20 minutes. It took an additional 20 minutes to pull it out of the burning building.

Blood drawn from Heche while she was in the emergency room tested positive for an inactive cocaine metabolite, which means she likely used the drug in the days preceding her death, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Additional toxicology sampling at the hospital tested positive for evidence of cannabinoids and benzodiazepine, but did not appear in the blood sample, the Los Angeles Times reported. Fentanyl was also present in sampling but was consistent with pain medication being given in the hospital.

“There was no evidence of impairment by illicit substances at the time of the crash,” Sarah Ardalani, a spokesperson for the coroner’s office, said in a statement to Rolling Stone.

The LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner officially listed Heche’s death as accidental and caused by inhalation and thermal injuries. The report also notes “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma.”

Surveillance video obtained by KNBC appeared to show Heche’s vehicle speeding down a street just before the crash.

A woman who was in the house hit in the crash has sued Heche’s estate, asking for at least $2 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Heche played twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love on the soap opera “Another World” from 1987-1991, and won a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance, KNBC reported. Heche went on to play more than 100 other roles, including parts in “Wag the Dog,” “Ally McBeal,” and “Girl in Room 13.”

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