Anne Heche passed away from smoke inhalation and the thermal wounds she received in the vehicle accident on August 5.
Her death, which was determined to be accidental, was associated with a sternal fracture brought on by blunt trauma, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner-coroner.
Sternal fractures are caused when a person’s chest strikes the steering wheel, and they are slightly more common among female drivers, according to the National Institutes of Health. After matching with a recipient of an organ donation, Heche was certified brain dead on August 12 and removed from life support on August 15.
“We have lost a shining star, a good and happy soul, a caring mother, and a devoted friend. Anne will be truly missed, but her gorgeous sons, legendary collection of work, and ardent activism continue to carry on her legacy, the actress’s publicist said at the time.
The influence of her courage in always speaking the truth and sharing her message of unconditional love and acceptance will endure. The Emmy winner struck a LA house in the Mar Vista neighborhood with her Mini Cooper on the afternoon of August 5, starting a fire.
Eyewitness reports said that the actress hit a neighboring residential complex’s garage head-on before reversing and speeding away. She struck another car, according to authorities with the West Traffic Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, before ramming into the burning house.
Aerial photographs of the site showed smoke pouring from the house and multiple fire engines encircling the location. Photos from the scene showed the actress being placed on a bed and indicated severe injuries to her back.
According to Heche’s representative, she sustained serious burns that needed surgical treatment, a considerable lung injury that necessitated artificial ventilation, and a severe anoxic brain injury. The actress fell into a coma and never came out of it.