One week after colliding with a Los Angeles skyscraper in her car, Hollywood actor Anne Heche has been deemed legally dead, a spokesperson announced on Friday.
Heche, 53, had been unconscious in a hospital since the catastrophic collision on August 5 due to a severe head damage.
She is “legally dead according to California law” after losing all brain activity, but her family is keeping her body on life support while looking for organ donors, according to spokeswoman Holly Baird.
“Today we lost a bright light, a kind and most joyful soul, a loving mother, and a loyal friend,” the family said in a joint statement.
“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, best known for 1990s movies “Donnie Brasco” and “Six Days, Seven Nights” as well as a high-profile relationship with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, crashed her car into a two-story house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Fire Department said that the forceful accident caused “structural damage and… significant fire” at the location. According to the agency, it took 59 firemen more than an hour to confine and completely put out the succeeding fire.
Heche’s blood had tested initially positive for narcotics, according to local media on Thursday, but additional testing was required to make sure the drugs had not been given to her during treatment.
Celebrity gossip outlet TMZ, citing unnamed police sources, said Heche had tested positive for cocaine and fentanyl, with the latter sometimes used for pain relief in clinical settings.
Heche rose to fame with her role on the soap opera “Another World,” for which she won a Daytime Emmy in 1991.
She was nominated for a Tony award for her appearance in “Twentieth Century” on Broadway in 2004.
“My brother Atlas and I lost our Mom,” Heche’s son Homer Laffoon said in a separate statement.
“Hopefully my mom is free from pain and beginning to explore what I like to imagine as her eternal freedom,” he wrote.