Anne Heche: Actress’ death ruled an accident by coroner’s office

Actress Anne Heche’s cause of death has been ruled an accident, officials said Wednesday.

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According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, the 53-year-old Emmy Award-winning actress died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries after she crashed into a home on Aug. 5.

Her manner of death was listed as an accident and also noted that a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” was another “significant condition” from the car crash, People reported.

Heche’s body has since been released from the coroner’s office, CNN reported.

Firefighters said that Heche’s Mini Cooper ran off the road and crashed into a two-story residence in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, causing “structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Heche was declared brain dead -- and therefore legally dead -- on Friday and was removed from life support after organ transplant recipients were found, a representative for the actress’ family said Sunday night.

A person declared brain dead is considered legally dead under California law.

The coroner’s office listed Heche’s official date of death as Aug. 11.

On Saturday, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that it had ended its investigation into the accident that took Heche’s life.

According to the National Library of Medicine, sternal fractures typically occur after the chest strikes the steering wheel in motor vehicle collisions.

During the 1990s, Heche played opposite actors including Johnny Depp (“Donnie Brasco”) and Harrison Ford (“Six Days, Seven Nights”).

From 2001 to 2009, she was married to camera operator Coleman Laffoon, with whom she had a son. She had another son during a relationship with actor James Tupper, her co-star on the TV series “Men In Trees.”

She recently had recurring roles on the network TV series “Chicago P.D.” and “All Rise,” and in 2020 was a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Heche is also known for her roles as Vicky Hudson and Marley Love in the soap opera “Another World” and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 1991, the Los Angeles Times reported.