Hollywood actress Anne Heche has passed away, a week after suffering a car crash. She is legally dead but will remain on life support to allow for a possible organ donation, her representative has said. The 53-year-old had been in a coma for a week after crashing her car into a house in Los Angeles.
“While Anne is legally dead according to California law, her heart is still beating, and she has not been taken off life support so that One Legacy can see if she is a match for organ donation,” a rep for Heche said.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul", her family said in a statement on Friday. Heche appeared in films including Volcano, Donnie Brasco and the 1998 remake of Psycho. The mother-of-two also appeared on Dancing with the Stars, the US equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing, in 2020.
The accident happened early on Friday in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood, not far from Heche’s house. Heche was seen driving a blue Mini Cooper in photos and videos shared by US media source TMZ. The car was seriously damaged at the crash site. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), Heche’s vehicle “erupted in heavy fire", which took 59 firefighters more than an hour to fully extinguish. The two-storey home she crashed into was left “uninhabitable".
Earlier, reports stated that the Six Days, Seven Nights actress wasn’t expected to survive after her accident as she was suffering from a brain injury. She was on life support. Her representative issued an official statement that reads, “Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. 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."
The official statement continued, “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. Anne had a huge heart and touched everyone she met with her generous spirit. 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."