(PatriotWise.com) – The Los Angeles County medical examiner confirmed last week that actress Anne Heche wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time she crashed her car into a Los Angeles house in early August.
And while drug testing revealed that the 53-year-old actress was a cocaine and marijuana user, the ME’s office determined that the use of these drugs happened well before the August 5 crash and there was “no evidence of impairment by illicit substances” at the time of the crash.
The county’s interim medical examiner ruled that Heche died of burns and smoke inhalation when she crashed her Mini Cooper into the front of a house, immediately turning the 738-square-foot house into what the tenant described as a “towering inferno.”
According to the autopsy report, Heche’s respiratory system was damaged by breathing smoke which reduced the amount of oxygen her body could take in. Heche slipped into a coma and died nine days after the crash.
The autopsy results go a long way in answering the open question about the cause of the crash. At the time, Los Angeles police said they were looking into the possibility that Heche had been driving under the influence.
Lynne Mishele, the woman who lived in the house Heche crashed into, claimed in a court filing that blood analysis showed that the actress had fentanyl and cocaine in her system. And while the autopsy report confirmed the blood analysis, it absolved Heche of driving under the influence.
According to the medical examiner’s spokesperson, blood was collected from Heche when she arrived at the hospital. The samples tested positive for benzoylecgonine, the inactive metabolite of cocaine, meaning she used cocaine in the past but not at the time of the crash.
The blood collected at the hospital tested negative for marijuana while her urine sample tested positive for the drug. According to the spokesperson, this is consistent with Heche’s prior use of marijuana rather than Heche being high at the time of the crash.
According to investigators, Heche only tested positive for fentanyl after being treated with drugs containing fentanyl upon her admittance to the hospital.
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