Anne Heche: US actress not expected to survive, says family

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Anne HecheImage source, Reuters
Image caption,
Anne Heche attended the Directors Guild of America (DGA) Awards in California in March

US actress Anne Heche is not expected to survive, her family has said, after a car crash earlier this week that left her vehicle engulfed in flames.

She remains in a coma and had "a severe anoxic brain injury" - when the brain is deprived of oxygen - they said.

"We want to thank everyone for their kind wishes and prayers for Anne's recovery and thank the dedicated staff and wonderful nurses," they added.

Her car crashed into a two-storey home in Los Angeles last week.

Police said on Friday that preliminary blood tests had revealed the presence of drugs in her system, but extra testing was needed to rule out any substances given in hospital.

The Los Angeles Police Department told the PA news agency the incident was being investigated as a felony driving-under-the-influence traffic collision.

The 53-year-old mother-of-two has featured in films including Donnie Brasco, Cedar Rapids and the 1998 Psycho remake.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Anne Heche appeared in one episode of sitcom Ellen, and dated its star Ellen DeGeneres in the late 1990s

Her other film credits include I Know What You Did Last Summer, Prozac Nation, Volcano and Six Days, Seven Nights - which saw her star opposite Harrison Ford.

She was nominated for outstanding younger actress in a drama series at the Daytime Emmy Awards in 1991, for her performance in Another World.

Her other TV work includes appearances in Ally McBeal, Save Me, Aftermath, Hung, Chicago P.D. and Men in Trees.

Heche has also appeared on Dancing with the Stars, the US equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing.

She is the former partner of talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who she dated in the late 1990s. Heche appeared in one episode of the star's sitcom, Ellen, in 1998.

According to the LA Fire Department, Heche's vehicle "erupted in heavy fire" after it was driven 30ft (9.1m) into the house, leaving the property "uninhabitable".

She is being cared for at the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills hospital and is on life support to determine whether her organs are viable for donation, her family said in their statement.