The final autopsy of Anne Heche revealed that the actress had a cocktail of drugs in her system at the time of her fatal car crash in August.
According to the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner’s report, obtained on Tuesday by the New York Post, the actress’ urine tested positive for cocaine, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and fentanyl.
It has now been determined that the fentanyl was administered to Heche to alleviate her pain after she had already been admitted to the hospital. Additionally, although the various substances were present at the time of her death, the coroner concluded that there was “no evidence of impairment by illicit substances at the time of the crash,” meaning she was not “high” when she died.
The medical examiner ruled that Heche’s death was accidental, caused by smoke inhalation and thermal injuries with a fracture to her sternum caused by blunt force trauma also contributing to her passing.
Fractures of the sternum are often caused by the driver’s chest striking the steering wheel. That type of injury made it “painful while breathing when she was in her vehicle,” the coroner said.
The report also states that the actress was trapped in her vehicle for about 30 minutes before first responders were able to recover her.
During those 30 minutes, the car was charred and Heche’s clothes were burned off her body as she suffered second-degree burns on 12 percent of her body, including the right side of her face/neck, right shoulder, left upper chest and her upper extremities.
On the afternoon of Aug. 5, Heche crashed her blue Mini Cooper into an LA home in the Mar Vista neighborhood, lighting the home and her vehicle on fire. Eyewitnesses saw Heche slam into the garage of a nearby apartment complex before backing up and speeding away. She hit another vehicle, then plowed into the house that caught fire.
Photos from the scene captured the actress being put on a stretcher and showed serious injuries to her back. Aerial shots documented smoke billowing out of the residence as well as numerous fire trucks surrounding the area.
Heche’s representative said that she had suffered a severe anoxic brain injury, a significant pulmonary injury that required mechanical ventilation and burns that required surgical intervention. She slipped into a coma and did not regain consciousness.
Law enforcement officials were investigating the accident as a potential felony DUI when reports that she was under the influence of cocaine at the time of the crash began to surface. These reports have now been confirmed.
Heche, who dated Ellen DeGeneres in the ’90s, often spoke about her battle with substance abuse.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.