Actress Anne Heche has died. The 53-year-old actress was in a devastating car accident on Friday, August 5, that left her in a coma.
Her family had issued a statement shortly before her death to inform the public that the “Six Days, Seven Nights” actress was not expected to survive after experiencing a catastrophic brain injury caused by a car accident.
Anne Heche Has Died, Family Plans To Donate Organs
On Friday afternoon, around 1 PM ET, Daily Mail reported that her family had pulled her off life support after doctors determined which organs were viable for donation. The Guardian reported that the family had confirmed the news of her passing.
Update: About an hour later, her rep told TMZ that she is “brain dead,” and, under California law, that is the legal definition of death. However, the rep explained that the actress is still on life support machines to keep her heart beating to preserve her organs for future donation. However, they stated that she has no brain function.
As PEOPLE reported on Thursday night, the “Volcano” actress was not expected to survive her injuries.
“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition,” a rep for the family told the publication, adding, “She is not expected to survive.”
“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she’s being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” they continued.
Her family also wanted to thank fans and famous friends for their outpouring of support since the tragic car accident.
“We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne’s recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses that cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital,” the statement continued.
“Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit,” the rep said. “More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work — especially moving the needle for acceptance of who you love. She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and dearly missed for her light.”
Police Say Heche Had Narcotics In Her System At The Time Of The Car Crash
As reported by Deadline, law enforcement officials had said that Anne Heche was under investigation for felony DUI after drugs were found in her system at the time of the car accident.
Although a bottle with a red cap was spotted in her car at the time of the accident, Deadline reported that it looks like alcohol was not present in her system at the time of the crash.
“Based on the blood work, it revealed the presence of narcotics,” Officer Lizeth Lomeli of the LAPD told the outlet, adding, “However, additional testing is required because we have to rule out any substances that were administered by medical treatment.”
In regards to the accident, an LAPD spokesman explained, “The vehicle was heading east on Preston Way at a high rate of speed, entered the T intersection at Preston Way and Walgrove Ave, ran off the road, and collided with the residence in the 1700 block of Walgrove.”
“The vehicle became engulfed in flames and the driver was transported to a local hospital by LAFD,” they continued. Fortunately, the woman who owned the home, her two dogs, and her turtle were able to escape the flames. She has since set up a GoFundMe to help cover expenses after losing her home.
Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department also commented on the intense blaze, explaining, “Fifty-nine firefighters took 65 minutes to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure.”
Anne Heche Leaves Behind Two Children
As PEOPLE reported, the Emmy-award-winning actress is survived by her two children, Homer and Atlas, whom she shares with her exes Coley Laffoon and James Tupper.
Heche shares her first child, son Homer Laffoon, with her ex-husband Coley Laffoon, to whom she was married from 2001 to 2009. Homer was born on March 2, 2002, and is now 20 years old.
Atlas Heche Tupper is Heche’s second child and the first child of her ex, James Tupper. The two met on the set of “Men in Trees” and started dating in 2007. The couple split in 2018 after 10 years together. Atlas was born on March 7, 2009.
After the birth of her second child, Anne Heche opened up to PEOPLE about how “wonderful” it was to be a parent.
“Obviously, the miracle of life for a mother is just dumbfounding,” Heche said at the time. “It’s so hard to explain how wonderful it is to look in the eyes of a child that you’re blessed with.”
Many fans and famous friends have taken to social media to offer their condolences for her tragic passing.