“There was no evidence of impairment by illicit substances at the time of the crash,” said Sarah Ardalani, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Coroner, in a statement.
Heche, 53, sustained life-threatening injuries after she drove her blue Mini Cooper into a Mar Vista home, resulting in an extensive fire. She later died of a “severe anoxic brain injury” which caused her brain to swell. She was declared legally dead on Aug. 11 and was removed from life support two days later.
Heche was trapped in her vehicle for approximately 30 minutes before firefighters could pull her from the inferno. The autopsy report, which was released Tuesday, claimed Heche suffered first-degree burns on approximately 40 per cent of her body.
Coroner officials wrote there was no alcohol in Heche’s system at the time of the crash. The actor did, however, have trace amounts of benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite in cocaine, discovered in her blood.
This meant Heche had used cocaine in the past, but not at the time of the crash.
A toxicology report revealed the presence of fentanyl in Heche’s system, but the substance was “obtained after she received treatment at the hospital and therefore is consistent with therapeutic use.”
Cannabis was also discovered in a urine sample from Heche, but was “not detected in the admission blood and is consistent with prior use, but not at the time of the injury,” the report claimed.
Shortly after Heche was removed from life support, the coroner ruled her death an accident.
The woman who lived in the Mar Vista rental home where Heche crashed her car has since sued the actor’s estate for US$2 million. The woman lost her home and most of her possessions as a result of the crash, though she and her pets were physically unharmed.
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