Anne Heche on life support, crash survival ‘not expected’

Anne Heche on life support, crash survival ‘not expected’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anne Heche is on life support after suffering a brain injury in a fire accident a week ago and her survival is not expected, a representative said.

The actress, who is in a coma and in critical condition, is being kept alive for possible organ donation, according to the statement released Thursday night on behalf of her family and friends.

Heche, who was hospitalized at West Hills Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center north of Los Angeles, suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury,” the statement said. Such an injury is caused by a persistent lack of oxygen in the brain.

“She is not expected to survive,” the statement said. “It has long been her decision to donate her organs and she is being placed on life support to determine if any are viable.”

On the morning of August 5, Heche’s car crashed into a home in a west Los Angeles neighborhood and a fire broke out, with the car embedded in the home.

Earlier Thursday, police said they were investigating Heche for drink driving. Detectives with a search warrant took a blood sample from her and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman Officer Jeff Lee said.

Toxicology tests, which can take weeks, must be performed to more positively identify the drugs and distinguish them from any drugs she may have received for hospital treatment.

Evidence of the crash is still being collected, police said, and they would present a case to prosecutors if warranted after the investigation is complete.

A Heche representative declined to comment on the investigation.

On Tuesday, Heche spokeswoman Heather Duffy Boylston said she had been in a coma since the accident, with burns that required surgery and lung injuries that required the use of a ventilator to breathe.

“Anne had a big heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit. More than her extraordinary talent, she saw her life’s work in spreading kindness and joy — specifically, moving the needle to accept who you love,” the statement read Thursday. “She will be remembered for her courageous honesty and will be greatly missed for her light.”

Heche, 53, was one of Hollywood’s most prominent movie stars in the late 1990s, starring alongside actors like 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 television series Chicago PD and All Rise, and was a 2020 contestant on Dancing With the Stars.

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Follow AP Entertainment writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton