Anne Heche’s autopsy reveals no proof of impairment by illegal substances at the time of the fatal crash

Anne Heche’s autopsy reveals no proof of impairment by illegal substances at the time of the fatal crash

Anne Heche’s final autopsy and a toxicology report found “no evidence of impairment by illicit substances” at the time of her fatal car crash and confirmed an initial determination that the actress died of inhalation and thermal injuries, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Toxicology tests revealed benzoylecgonine, an inactive metabolite of cocaine, in Heche’s system, according to the coroner’s report, which EW examined. Cannabinoids were also found in a urine sample but not in Heche’s blood, indicating past marijuana usage but not at the time of injury.

While tests revealed fentanyl in Heche’s bloodstream, it was later found that the narcotic was provided as a painkiller in the hospital following the accident. Heche’s system did not test positive for alcohol.

In the immediate aftermath of the crash, Heche was under investigation and faced potential DUI charges due to early testing revealing the presence of narcotics in her blood. Those were later confirmed to be the outcome of medical therapy.

Heche died in August at the age of 53 after crashing her car into a burning house in Los Angeles. She was stuck in her car for almost 30 minutes before first responders could free her, suffering burns to her face, neck, shoulder, chest, and upper extremities. Her brain also showed signs of hypoxic injury, which was caused by a lack of oxygen when she was imprisoned in the truck.

According to the coroner’s findings, smoke inhalation was exacerbated by a fracture in Heche’s sternum, which made it more difficult for her to maintain a healthy oxygen intake according to Page six.

Heche was in a coma for several days before being certified brain dead on Aug. 11, yet she was kept on life support to give the OneLegacy Foundation time to identify a match for an organ recipient. A match was found, and Heche was taken off life support on August 14.

As a result of the accident, Heche’s estate is still embroiled in a legal struggle. According to court records acquired by EW, Lynne Mishele, who narrowly avoided physical harm after Heche slammed into her home, is seeking at least $2 million in damages for negligence, infliction of mental distress, and trespass.


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