The 53-year-old actress, who is known for her roles in movies such as Six Days, Seven Nights and Donnie Brasco, as well as the soap opera Another World, made headlines last week when she crashed her vehicle into a car and then a garage. A witness tried to help, but she raced off and then plowed through a hedge and finally crashed into a house, causing a fire that left her with severe burns and burned a woman’s home to the ground. It took 59 firefighters to get her out of the wreckage in what was her third car crash within a span of 30 minutes.
Photos emerged from the first incident that appeared to show a bottle of alcohol in the cup holder of her car, while Heche appeared glassy-eyed. However, according to sources from the Los Angeles Police Department, tests on blood that was drawn after she was admitted to the hospital found the presence of cocaine as well as fentanyl rather than alcohol.
However, experts note that fentanyl is sometimes administered to patients as a pain medication in hospitals. Therefore, further testing is needed to determine whether fentanyl was already in her system ahead of the crash or if it had been given to her to address the severe pain she must have experienced as a result of her extensive burns.
Footage of the moments before the crash showed her speeding down an alley and narrowly missing a pedestrian who was walking down a sidewalk. She was reportedly driving faster than 90 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
An LAPD spokesperson told ET that she is being investigated for felony traffic DUI, adding: "Right now, what has been found is a presence of narcotics in her system, however additional testing is required because we have to rule out additional substances administered at the hospital."
Her condition is considered dire and has not improved since she was first admitted to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital. According to her representative, she suffered from a catastrophic brain injury shortly after her crash and is not expected to survive. A statement says that she suffered from a severe anoxic brain injury and is still in a coma. The actress had expressed a desire to be an organ donor, so she is currently being kept alive with life support while doctors determine if any of her organs are viable.
Heche suffered from mental health problems throughout her life. She said that her father repeatedly raped her throughout her childhood, giving her genital herpes. He died when she was 13 of HIV/AIDS, and her brother died in a car accident three months later in an accident that Heche has said she believes was suicide.
She has stated that she felt like she was “insane” for most of her life and created a fantasy world to make herself feel safe in which she had an alter ego named Celestia who could contact extraterrestrials. Her lifelong mental health struggles were the subject of her 2001 memoir, and it appears that she was still struggling at the time of her potentially deadly accident.
Unfortunately, many Americans suffering from trauma and other mental health issues never get the support and treatment they need, with many doctors simply writing prescriptions for profitable antidepressants and antipsychotics rather than ensuring people get the therapy they need to find true peace.
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