Harrowing new details emerge about Anne Heche’s crash

This article contains content that some readers may find disturbing.

Weeks after actress Anne Heche crashed her car into a Los Angeles home and subsequently died from her injuries in August, her fans and loved ones are still dealing with the aftermath — and we’re still learning more heartbreaking details about the deadly man Accident.

A week after Heche’s accident, in which her car burst into flames while she was stuck inside, she was declared legally brain dead, according to the New York Times. “We have lost a bright light, a kind and cheerful soul, a loving mother and a devoted friend,” her family’s statement read in part to TMZ. Heche’s death was sudden and unexpected, and ABC News later reported that she died intestate, leaving her 20-year-old son Homer Laffoon to petition the courts for control of her estate, naming only him and his 13-year-old brother Atlas Tupper as Heche’s heir.

Additional details about the crash that have surfaced include video of the destroyed home released by TMZ. Now we’ve learned a particularly chilling detail about Heche’s condition immediately after the accident.

Anne Heche was trapped in the burning car for 40 minutes

After Anne Heche’s car crashed into a home in suburban Los Angeles on August 5, the car burst into flames, causing the home to catch fire as well. Now NBC 4 has reported that Heche was trapped in the burning car for 40 minutes before firefighters could reach her. Firefighters couldn’t even access the car for 20 minutes after the accident, according to Los Angeles Fire Department records made available to the network. Then it took another 20 minutes for rescuers to pull the car out of the building and try to save her. “I would imagine, just based on just some of the very experienced officers who initiated the firefight, that they were using their best efforts to try and identify that someone was in the vehicle,” Deputy Fire Chief Richard Fields told the network . Fields blamed the obvious obstacle – the fire – for the delay. “Given the heavy fire and smoke conditions, it wasn’t like you could see into or access the vehicle clearly,” he said.

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Unfortunately, Heche died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, according to the People coroner’s report, which officially ruled her death an accident. The coroner also found a fracture in Heche’s sternum “due to blunt trauma,” likely because the actor’s chest hit the steering wheel on impact.