Los Angeles: Actress Anne Heche was not impaired by drugs at the time of her devastating car crash on August 5, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.
Tests did show, however, that Heche, 53, had used both cocaine and cannabis previously, reports ‘People’ magazine.
“The hospital admission blood showed the presence of benzoylecgonine, the inactive metabolite of cocaine, which means she used in the past but not at the time of the crash,” a spokesperson for the Coroner confirmed to ‘People’.
Cannabinoids were found in her urine but “not detected in the admission blood and is consistent with prior use, but not at the time of the injury.” Toxicology also showed she had fentanyl in her system, though the coroner’s report indicated that it was “obtained after she received treatment at the hospital and therefore is consistent with therapeutic use.”
“This is supported by the lack of fentanyl in the blood specimen drawn at admission to the hospital,” the report states.Additionally, the report indicates that Heche’s burns were so bad that they prevented her body from effectively absorbing oxygen, which led to her “anoxic brain injury.” This is ultimately what killed her.
On August 5, Heche was behind the wheel of her Mini Cooper when she crashed into a Los Angeles home. Both her car and the residence caught fire, and it was later revealed through audio file recordings from the Los Angeles Fire Department that Heche was trapped in her vehicle for about 45 minutes before being rescued.
According to the coroner’s narrative, the actress was involved in two minor crashes prior to plowing into the home at around 80 MPH. There were no skid marks at the scene, according to the report.
Suffering third and second-degree burns and a fractured sternum, she was rushed to the UCLA Ronald Ragan Hospital before later being transported to a specialty burns ICU at West Hills Hospital.