Anne Heche’s family has said in a statement that the actor is “not expected to survive” the severe car crash that left her in a coma last week.
The Another World star was taken to hospital last Friday (5 August) with severe burns after she ran her car into a home in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista area, which then caught fire.
She later slipped into a coma and was in a “critical condition”, her representatives told the media.
Now, as per a statement shared by her family with the Press Association, Heche has suffered a “severe anoxic brain injury” and is “not expected to survive” the accident.
“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,” the statement read.
“Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive,” it continued.
“It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable,” her family said, adding, “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,” the statement concluded.
It comes shortly after the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) told the Associated Press that the crash was being investigated as a felony driving-under-the-influence (DUI) traffic collision.
Detectives with a search warrant took a sample of Heche’s blood and found narcotics in her system, LAPD spokesman officer Jeff Lee told the news agency.
But toxicology tests which can take weeks to complete, AP reported, must be performed to identify the drugs more clearly and to differentiate them from any medication she may have been given for treatment at the hospital.
Earlier on Thursday (11 August), an LAPD source cited by TMZ claimed there was cocaine and fentanyl in Heche’s system.
The TMZ report stated that law enforement officials tested Heche’s blood after she was admitted to hospital, which means the fentanyl could have been in her system if it was prescribed as pain medication after the accident.
The Independent has reached out to representatives of Heche for comment.
Heche’s former partner Ellen DeGeneres was recently asked if she shared well wishes to her ex after the crash. “Sure,” she responded, “I don’t want anyone to be hurt.”
Keeping her comments brief, DeGeneres added, “We’re not in touch with each other, so I wouldn’t know,” after being asked if she’d been in contact with Heche after the crash.
The talk show host dated Heche from 1997 to 2000.
The actor, who was also married to cameraman Coleman Laffoon, has reportedly been dating costume designer Ami Goodheart.
Heche is under investigation for DUI and hit and run for the accident that happened when her car left the road at a T-junction, police said.
No arrests have been made in the case, the investigation of which is ongoing.
Additional reporting by agencies