Anne Heche Confirmed Legally Dead

·2 min read

Anne Heche has passed away at age 53.

The Emmy Award-winning actress was declared brain dead on Thursday night after she crashed her car into a house late last week.

Heche’s rep told NBC News on Friday that, while Heche is legally dead according to California law, her heart is still beating and has not been taken off life support yet in order to donate her organs.

“We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend. Anne will be deeply missed but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work, and her passionate advocacy. Her bravery for always standing in her truth, spreading her message of love and acceptance, will continue to have a lasting impact.” Heche’s rep said in a statement to NBC News on behalf of her family and friends.

Heche was hospitalized last Friday after driving her car into a home in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista neighborhood.

On Thursday, authorities revealed that preliminary testing indicates that Heche had drugs in her system. A Los Angeles Police Department public information officer tells NBC News that a blood draw “revealed the presence of drugs” adding that a second test would be done to rule out any substances of medications administered to her at the hospital.

According to eyewitnesses of the crash who spoke to TMZ, Heche allegedly first crashed a blue Mini Cooper into the garage of an apartment building. They claimed residents of the complex tried to get Heche out of the car, but that she drove off, then crashed into a nearby house shortly after – sparking a fire.

According to a Los Angeles Fire Department report, which did not identify Heche, the solo-passenger vehicle struck a two-story home, “causing structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire.” It took firefighters just over an hour to extinguish the flames.