After suffering a “severe anoxic brain injury” following a car accident last week, Anne Heche is “not expected to survive,” according to a statement received by USA TODAY on Thursday from Heche’s publicist.
The 53-year-old actor remains in a coma in critical condition. “It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” the statement read.
The statement thanks “the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses who cared for Anne at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital” in Los Angeles.
“Anne had a big heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit,” the statement continued. “More than her extraordinary talent, she saw spreading kindness and joy as her life’s work – specifically moving the needle for acceptance of who you love.”
“She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and will be greatly missed for her light,” the statement concluded.
Police said earlier Thursday they were investigating Heche for driving under the influence of drugs when she crashed into a Los Angeles home that left her with serious injuries.
Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in his system, LAPD spokesman Officer Jeff Lee said. But toxicology tests, which can take weeks, must be carried out to more clearly identify the drugs and differentiate them from any drugs she may have received for treatment at the hospital, where she remained on Thursday, six days after the accident.
This latest development came after Bureau Annie Hernandez told USA TODAY on Monday that a warrant to do a toxicology blood test on Heche was issued Friday by the LAPD.
Police said Thursday they were still collecting evidence of the crash and would present a case to prosecutors if warranted once the investigation is complete.
A representative for Heche declined to comment on the investigation to The Associated Press.
On August 5, Heche’s car crashed into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood, west of Los Angeles. Flames erupted and Heche, who was alone in the car, was pulled by firefighters from the vehicle embedded in the house. No one in the house was injured.
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Anne Heche in a coma, “in extreme critical condition” following an accident
A spokeswoman said Tuesday Heche remains in critical condition and has been in a coma since the accident, with burns requiring surgery and lung damage requiring the use of a ventilator for breathing.
Heche’s manager, Michael McConnell, told USA TODAY on Monday that Heche was in “extremely critical condition.”
“She is in a coma and has not regained consciousness since shortly after the accident,” McConnell said.
Television video showed a damaged blue Mini Cooper Clubman being towed away as firefighters put a woman in an ambulance.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said in a news release that the vehicle struck a two-story house, causing “structural compromise and causing heavy fire.”
A day before the car accident, Heche opened up about “bad days” in a podcast episode
Heche opened up about having a bad day to Heather Duffy Boylston, also a spokesperson for the actor, on their “Better Together” podcast, released the day before the crash. The episode was taped on Tuesday, several days after it aired, podcast company Straw Hut Media told USA TODAY.
The episode titled “Just the 2022 of Us” was removed from streaming services after the crash due to “inaccurate reports that the episode was recorded on the day of the crash,” said Ryan Tillotson, a representative for Straw Hut Media. It is still posted on the Straw Hut website.
On the podcast, Heche said she had “a very unique day.”
“I don’t know what happened, sometimes the days suck, and I don’t know if you ever have one,” Heche said.
Heche and Duffy were drinking during the podcast, sharing that they “each have a bottle (of vodka) in front of us.”
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Heche was one of Hollywood’s most prominent movie stars in the late 1990s, starring alongside actors such as Johnny Depp (“Donnie Brasco”) and Harrison Ford (“Six Days, Seven Nights” ). In a 2001 memoir, she opened up about her lifelong struggles with mental health.
She recently had recurring roles on the network’s “Chicago PD” and “All Rise” television series, and in 2020 she took part in “Dancing With the Stars.”
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Contributors: Bryan Alexander, PamelCharles Trepany, Naledi Ushe, Kim Willis and Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY; Lynn Elber, Andrew Dalton, Associated Press