“The news of Anne Heche passing is devastating. Her family and her friends and her children, especially, really have suffered a great loss, and my heart goes out for them,” Mishele said in a video shared via Instagram on Friday, August 12. “This entire situation is tragic — and there really are just no words. I’m sending love to everyone involved.”
Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper that collided with a home on the 1700 block of Walgrove St. in Los Angeles around 11 a.m. local time on August 5. The Los Angeles Fire Department later confirmed that the vehicle went 30 feet into the two-story home, which was less than 800 square feet. Michele was in the backyard at the time of the crash and sustained only cuts that required treatment, TMZ reported on Wednesday, August 10.
While the professional organizer and her pets survived, the crash started a fire that took 59 firefighters over an hour to extinguish. The home was deemed unsafe to enter after the flames were put out.
In an Instagram video shared on Thursday, August 11, Mishele said she is “still recovering” after the incident. “It’s obviously been the most insane, traumatic time, confusing … eventually I’ll try to get back to everybody and try to read everybody’s comments,” she said. “Thank you everybody from the bottom of my heart. It’s really, truly overwhelming. You guys really have impacted my life in a really profound way so thank you so much to everybody and I will keep you updated.”
Mishele’s neighbors also set up a GoFundMe to raise money for the expenses caused by the damage to her home and loss of all her belongings. They have raised over $160,000 dollars as of Saturday, August 13.
At the time of the crash, the Los Angeles Fire Department said the driver — who was later identified as Heche — sustained severe burns but was conscious and able to speak with firefighters before being taken to a trauma center.
Days later, the Donnie Brasco star’s representative confirmed that she was comatose and in critical condition. On Thursday, August 11, the rep announced that Heche would not wake up again.
“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 on behalf of Heche’s family. “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.”
The rep confirmed that she was declared brain dead on August 12. According to California law, that means the actress officially died at the age of 53, even though her heart was still beating. Her organs are being evaluated for donation.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” a statement from her family said. “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 is survived by her sons, Homer, 20, who she shared with Coleman Laffoon, and Atlas, 13, who she shared with James Tucker.
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