Anne Heche, who died following a car crash in August, was unimpaired by illicit substances at the time of the accident, according to an autopsy and toxicology report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office.
“A urine toxicology screen of urine was positive for cocaine, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and fentanyl,” the coroner’s office said in a report issued Tuesday. However, those drugs were in her system from previous use or administered to her in the hospital, and “therefore there was no evidence of impairment by illicit substances at the time of the crash.”
“The urine drug specimen that detected fentanyl was obtained after she received treatment at the hospital and therefore is consistent with therapeutic use,” the report reads.
The report also cited no alcohol in Heche’s system. Previous reports said she was being investigated for drugs and/or alcohol to determine if either was a factor in the vehicle crash.
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Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman Officer Jeff Lee told The Associated Press around the time of the crash.
In August, Heche’s cause and manner of death was ruled an accident. According to the Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office website, Heche died due to “inhalation and thermal injuries,” and Tuesday’s report said she had burns over 12% of her body.
Heche also suffered a sternal fracture due to blunt trauma, the office said in August, but it did not attribute this as a cause of her death.
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Heche died nine days after she was pulled from a burning car and hospitalized in critical condition. On Aug. 5, the actress drove her car into a home in Mar Vista and Heche, 53, suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury” as a result of the accident and fell into a coma, according to a statement.
Without identifying the driver, Tony Im, a public information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, confirmed that a crash occurred at 10:55 a.m. that day, and that the vehicle “became engulfed in flames.” A representative for Heche later confirmed the accident to The AP.
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Heche was declared brain dead Aug. 11, but was put on life support for three more days to allow for her organs to be donated.
Her family said in late August that Heche would be laid to rest at the storied Hollywood Forever Cemetery. She was cremated and her ashes were to be placed in a mausoleum at a later date.
In a statement to The AP, Heche’s son Homer Laffoon said he and her other son Atlas Tupper “are convinced our Mom would love the site we have chosen for her; it’s beautiful, serene and she will be among her Hollywood peers.”
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Heche’s eldest son Homer, whom she shared with her ex-husband Coleman Laffoon, filed a petition in Los Angeles Court in September to request control of his mother’s estate after learning she didn’t have a legal will in place at the time of her death.
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Contributing: Charles Trepany, Elise Brisco, USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Story Credit: usatoday.com