Anne Heche died of inhalation and thermal injuries, according to Los Angeles County’s department of the medical examiner-coroner. Her death was ruled an accident.
The official report lists sternal fracture due to blunt trauma as another “significant condition.” Her date of death is listed as Aug. 11, one day before a rep explained that she’d been declared “brain dead” and six days after the Six Days Seven Nights actress crashed her car into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles. Blood test showed that she had narcotics in her system. She was 53.
The cause of death surfaced just as a neighbor’s 911 call was released. In the call, people can be heard shouting in the background, as Heche’s blue Mini Cooper Heche erupted in flames.
“Somebody is opening the back to see if we can access,” the caller said, “because they’re kinda trapped … inside the car.”
Then someone spotted the flames and yelled, “fire!” Paramedics were able to remove Heche from the wreckage, but not before she was severely burned.
The Emmy-winning actress, whose credits also include the movies Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog, the TV shows All Rise and Hung, and the play Twentieth Century, for which she received a Tony nomination, lapsed into a coma shortly after she was pulled from the wreck. She remained on life support until her death.
Her survivors include two sons, 20-year-old Homer Laffoon, whose father is Heche’s ex-husband Coleman “Coley” Laffoon, and Atlas, 13, whose father is Heche’s Men in Trees co-star James Tupper.