Anne Heche died from smoke “inhalation and thermal injuries” after a fiery car crash earlier this month, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.
The coroner’s office posted its findings online Wednesday, which listed Heche’s death as accidental. The autopsy report added that the actress died in a hospital, and said a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” was a “significant condition” in her death.
Heche, 53, crashed into a two-story home in the Mar Vista neighborhood of L.A. causing the structure to erupt in flames on Aug. 5.
The crash occurred in the 1700 block of South Walgrove Avenue just before 11 a.m. It took 59 firefighters just over an hour to extinguish the flames.
Video from local news stations showed Heche on a stretcher immediately after the crash. The home was badly damaged and the actress’ blue Mini Cooper was gutted by flames. No other injuries were reported.
A rep for the actress released a statement saying she “suffered a severe anoxic brain injury.” The statement noted she was being treated at a burn center in Los Angeles, but was “not expected to survive.”
Heche was hospitalized and in a coma for several days until she was taken off life support.
The autopsy report listed her date of death as Aug. 11. While she was declared brain dead that day — the definition of death under California law — she remained on life support in order to donate her organs. Her death was announced on Aug. 12 and she was taken off life support on Aug. 14.
The LAPD said blood tests conducted on Heche at the hospital showed she had “narcotics” in her system. According to published reports, cocaine was detected in her blood.
Police said they had launched a criminal investigation, but later announced the case ended with Heche’s death. “When a person suspected of a crime expires, we do not present for filing consideration,” the police department said.
Born Anne Celeste Heche on May 25, 1969, the actress was originally from Aurora, Ohio.
She won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991 for her work on Another World. She was best known for her roles in the films Donnie Brasco, Volcano and Six Days Seven Nights. Heche also had parts on a string of hit TV shows, including All Rise, Chicago P.D., Quantico, Men in Trees, Nip/Tuck, Ally McBeal, and The Brave.