The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has released its official findings in the death of Anne Heche, ruling her death to be an accident.
According to People, the coroner’s investigation determined Heche’s death to be the result of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, a type of burn caused by the skin making contact with hot objects.
The manner of death was listed as an “accident,” while noting that a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” was also a “significant condition” contributing to her death. Sternal fractures commonly occur when a person’s chest hits the steering wheel in a car crash.
Heche was pronounced dead on Aug. 12. She was in a coma for seven days after crashing her Mini Cooper into a Los Angeles home at a high rate of speed, causing both her car and the house to catch on fire.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” Heche’s rep said in a statement at the time of her death. “Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.”
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