Anne Heche’s death Ruled an Accident as Coroner Determines Official Causes

After the actress was involved in a devastating car crash on Aug. 5, the coroner confirmed she died due to inhalation of smoke and thermal injuries. Beloved actress Anne Heche tragically passed away on August 12th, 2023, following a severe car crash in Los Angeles. Fresh details emerging from the autopsy report have provided insights into the exact cause of her death.

Heche died due to inhalation of smoke and thermal injuries according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Her manner of death was listed as an accident and also noted that a “sternal fracture due to blunt trauma” was another “significant condition” from the devastating car crash she was involved in on Aug. 5.

Per the National Library of Medicine, sternal fractures typically occur after the chest strikes the steering wheel in motor vehicle collisions. It is believed that 60-90% of all sternal fractures are caused by crashes, with the occurrence tripling with the use of seatbelts, likely due to deceleration forces, the NLM reported.

Detail of Anne Heche’s Cause of Death


Date of Accident
August 5, 2023

Autopsy Report Release
August 17, 2023

Anne Heche’s Death Date
August 12, 2023

Key Causes of Death
Inhalation, thermal injuries, and sternal fracture

Car Crash Location
Mar Vista neighborhood, Los Angeles

Drugs in System
Ongoing Family Complications
Legal battle over son’s guardianship
Ruling by the Coroner

Her 20-year-old son Homer, whom she shares with ex-husband Coley Laffoon, also paid tribute to his mom in a statement to PEOPLE. “After six days of almost unbelievable emotional swings, I am left with a deep, wordless sadness. Hopefully, my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom,” he said in part.

Anne Heche’s Fatal Car Crash

On that fateful day, Heche was driving through Mar Vista when she suddenly crashed into a residence. The resultant fire severely burned Heche, and despite being rescued and taken to a hospital, she remained in a critical condition for days.

Early Reports About Anne Heche’s Death

While initial reports about the Anne Heche cause of death were not detailed, it was E! News that broke the information that Heche had no active drugs in her system during the accident.

Autopsy Investigation

The Los Angeles County coroner’s autopsy report illuminated the situation further. Anne Heche’s death resulted from inhalation and thermal injuries from the accident. A sternal fracture due to the crash’s blunt trauma also “significantly contributed” to her tragic passing. The coroner has declared Heche’s death as accidental.

Anne Heche’s Family 

Anne Heche’s unexpected death left her family grappling with pain and numerous challenges. Currently, they are entrenched in a legal battle with James Tupper, Heche’s ex-husband, concerning the guardianship of their son, Atlas.

Final Words

To encapsulate, the anne heche cause of death was primarily inhalation and thermal injuries from the car crash, with a contributing factor being a sternal fracture from blunt trauma. The coroner’s report, by classifying her death as accidental, provides a clearer perspective on the unfortunate event, offering some solace to all those affected.


Why is Anne Heche’s family currently in court?

They are engaged in a legal battle with Heche’s ex-husband, James Tupper, regarding the guardianship of their son, Atlas.

What did the coroner’s report conclude about her death?

The Los Angeles County coroner ruled Anne Heche’s death as accidental.

Was Anne Heche under the influence of drugs during the crash?

No, News reported that there were no active drugs in her system at the time of the accident.

What injuries did Anne Heche sustain from the crash?

Anne Heche suffered from inhalation and thermal injuries. Additionally, a sternal fracture due to blunt trauma significantly contributed to her death.

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