Gut-Wrenching New Details Of Anne Heche's Crash Emerge

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Weeks after actor Anne Heche crashed her car into a Los Angeles home and subsequently died of her injuries in August, her fans and loved ones are still dealing with the fallout — and we are still learning more heart-wrenching details about the fatal accident. 

One week after Heche's accident, which caused her car to go up in flames while she was stuck inside, she was declared legally braindead, according to The New York Times. "We have lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend," her family's statement to TMZ read, in part. Heche's death was sudden and unexpected, and ABC News later reported that she died without a will, leaving her 20-year-old son, Homer Laffoon to file a petition with the courts for control of her estate, listing only himself and his 13-year-old brother, Atlas Tupper, as Heche's heirs. 

Other details about the crash that have emerged include video of the destroyed home, published by TMZ. Now, we've learned a particularly chilling detail about Heche's condition immediately after the crash.

Anne Heche was trapped in the burning car for 40 minutes

After Anne Heche's car crashed into a suburban Los Angeles home on August 5, the car burst into flames, causing the house to catch fire as well. Now, NBC 4 has reported that Heche was trapped in the burning car for 40 minutes before firefighters were able to reach her. According to recordings from the Los Angeles Fire Department obtained by the network, firefighters weren't able to even access the car for 20 minutes after the crash. Then, it took another 20 minutes for rescuers to pull the car out of the building to try and save her. "I would imagine, just based on some of the very experienced officers that were initiating the firefight, that they made the best effort they could to try to 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 that you could clearly see into the vehicle or clearly be able to access it," he said. 

Sadly, Heche died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries, according to the coroner's report obtained by People, which officially ruled her death an accident. The coroner also found a fracture in Heche's sternum "due to blunt trauma," likely from the actor's chest hitting the steering wheel upon impact.