MAR VISTA, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Actress Anne Heche fell into a coma and is in critical condition after her car crashed into a Los Angeles home, a spokesperson disclosed Monday.
Initial reports declared Heche in stable condition after Friday’s crash and firefighters described her as talking to her rescuers after she was pulled from the wreckage.
But a spokesperson for the actress on Monday clarified: “Despite previous reports that Heche was stable, shortly after the accident, Anne Heche became unconscious, slipping into a coma and is in critical condition. She has a significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation and burns that require surgical intervention.”
Police tested Heche for drugs and alcohol following the crash, a source confirmed to Eyewitness News. Due to her condition, a warrant was obtained to test Heche’s blood for substances, according to the source. Such steps are commonly taken while investigating a suspected DUI crash, especially when the driver is unable to talk.
Authorities have not received the results of the lab work.
The crash was reported shortly before 11 am Friday at a two-story house in the 1800 block of South Walgrove Avenue, in the Mar Vista neighborhood, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The car smashed into the home and started a fire.
Video obtained by Eyewitness News showed Heche’s Mini Cooper badly damaged and burned and being towed out of the home.
According to LAFD Capt. Erik Scott, firefighters arrived at the home to find a well-involved fire.
“When we arrived on scene, we had a solo vehicle that appeared to be driving at a high rate of speed on a perpendicular street and launched through the front yard, into the home,” said Scott. “So deep…about 30 feet in.”
Scott said Heche – who was officially identified as the driver behind the wheel – was trapped inside the car as flames from the vehicle began spreading to the home.
“She was talking to us at the time that we were able to pull her out, so that’s a good sign,” said Scott.
Meanwhile, video that has since gone viral shows what appears to be Heche’s Mini Cooper crashing into a garage door at an apartment complex half a mile west from the Mar Vista home.
Police said an investigation is underway related to “misdemeanor hit and run incidents” that occurred before the Mar Vista crash. No arrests have been made.
The woman living in the Mar Vista home was not hurt but neighbors say she lost everything due to the fire caused by the crash. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help her.
A witness told ABC News the car stopped two feet from where she was sitting.
The tenant of the home has been identified as Lynne Mishele. Her attorney, Shawn Holley, issued a statement Monday:
“Ms. Mishele is devastated by what happened to her on Friday – not only because she and her pets almost lost their lives, but because all of her property, including items of profound sentimental value, were destroyed. She asks for privacy at this incredibly hard time.”
A neighbor described for Eyewitness News the initial terrifying moments after the crash and his efforts to help both Heche and the resident of the home.
David Manpearl lives down the street and rushed over to his neighbor’s home after hearing the crash.
She was not seriously injured, but she was focused on safely getting her animals out of the ruins of the house. She asked him to help round up her leashes which had been by the front door – now pushed some 25 feet away from its original location by the force of the impact.
He then went to help the driver of the Mini, not knowing his identity. He first asked her if she was OK.
“She responded unfortunately that no she was not OK,” he recalled. “And she didn’t turn her head toward me at all so I never saw her face.”
He was trying to free her from the car, but a fire underneath was spreading and sending up thick black smoke.
At one point he realized he had to retreat from the home. It eventually took multiple firefighters with specialized equipment to put out the flames and free Heche from the mangled Mini.
Heche’s friend and podcast partner Heather Duffy Boylston on Saturday issued a statement that read in part: “Her family and friends ask for your thoughts and prayers and to respect her privacy during this difficult time.”
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