New details surrounding the car accident involving Anne Heche reveal that the actress was trapped inside her car for about 45 minutes before the fire department reached her.
NBC4 published records obtained from the Los Angeles Fire Department that detail the difficulties rescuers experienced trying to reach the actress. It took firefighters 20 minutes just to get to the vehicle and another 20 to pull it out of the home it crashed into.
“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,” said LAFD Deputy Chief Richard Fields.
Heche, 53, crashed her Mini Cooper at a high rate of speed into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood on Aug. 5. LAFD arrived at the scene at 11:01 a.m. and initially had difficulty determining if someone was trapped inside the car.
Fields confirmed that Heche was not in the driver’s seat of the Mini Cooper but had slipped below the front seats to the floorboard.
“I will say that where the person was in the vehicle was not in the driver’s seat, but on the floorboard of the passenger seat,” he told the outlet.
Heche was pulled from the vehicle around 11:50 a.m. She was brought to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center before being transferred to the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills.
The actress lost consciousness shortly after the accident and died from her injuries one week later. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner revealed Heche died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.
Initially, there was some confusion surrounding Heche’s death. While the actress was declared legally dead according to California law, she was kept on life support so that her organs could be donated.