Thursday, February 22, 2024

911 call reveals neighbors’ panic after Anne Heche crashed into an occupied home in LA


People We’ve Lost

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CNN  — 

The 911 call starts with a jarring observation: “A car just went through my neighbor’s house.”

Anne Heche had crashed her blue Mini Cooper into a home in Los Angeles on August 5, and the caller, as heard in a recording obtained by CNN, was unaware that the veteran actor was behind the wheel, or that anyone was still in the car at the time. The caller told the dispatcher that the car was about 10 feet into the house.

Everyone in the home was accounted for, the caller said, adding that he was unsure how many people were in the car when it crashed.

“Somebody is opening the back to see if we can access because they’re kinda trapped … inside the car,” the caller continued. In the background, a voice yelled “fire!” and another one called out for hoses as the dispatcher tried to determine whether the smoke was in the home or car.

Heche’s crash into the two-story house in the Mar Vista neighborhood ignited a fiery blaze that took 59 firefighters over an hour to extinguish, authorities said. She suffered serious burns and other injuries, and was in a coma until her death Sunday.

While questions remain about that tragic day, more information has come to light about events leading up to Heche’s crash.

About 20 minutes before Heche’s car collided into the home, she made an innocuous purchase: a red wig at a hair salon in Venice, about two miles away from the scene of the crash.

Around 10:35 a.m. that day, she entered the hair salon through a back door, owner Richard Glass told the Los Angeles Times.

She looked at wigs on a shelf in the shampoo area and picked a blue one. Glass told her that wig was already taken, so she opted for a red wig instead, he told the publication.

Glass recognized her, and the pair took selfies, one of which he posted on Instagram.

“So I met @anneheche today and she purchased a #redwig so random,” he wrote in the caption.

With a beaming smile – her blonde hair in a short, rumpled cut – Heche held on to her new wig in the photo.

Glass used the time stamp on the photos to estimate Heche’s arrival time at the salon, he told the publication. It turned out to be one of her final photos before the crash.

When reached by CNN, Glass declined to provide further details, saying the “bizarre and horrific” situation has been hard to process and has taken a toll on him.

“I’ve quickly found that it’s been difficult to navigate the … cyber bullying from strangers, the random phone calls and all of the outreach that come from it – as well as the overwhelming feelings of grief I have at seeing the tragic loss of someone’s life,” he told CNN.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Christopher Polk/NBC/Getty Images

Actress Anne Heche poses for a portrait in 2015.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Courtesy Everett Collection

Heche, seen here in 1990 with Russell Todd, won a Daytime Emmy Award for her performance on the soap opera “Another World.” She played twins Vicky Hudson and Marley Love.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Zenith Prods/Kobal/Shutterstock

Heche, right, appears with Catherine Keener in the 1996 film “Walking and Talking.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Chris Pizzello/AP

Heche, left, holds hands with comedian Ellen DeGeneres at the world premiere of the movie “Face/Off” in 1997. The two dated for several years.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Heche stars with Tommy Lee Jones in the 1997 film “Volcano.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche


Heche and Johnny Depp in a scene from 1997’s “Donnie Brasco.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Heche appears with Robert De Niro in 1998’s “Wag the Dog.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche


Heche and Vince Vaughn in 1998’s “Psycho.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche


Heche stars with Harrison Ford in the 1998 film “Six Days, Seven Nights.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Denny Keeler/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Heche signs a fan’s hat at the “Get Real” premiere in 1999.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Heche, right, directs Sharon Stone in a segment of the 2000 film “If These Walls Could Talk 2. DeGeneres, center, was also in the movie.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

From left, Stone, Michelle Williams and Heche hold Lucy Awards that were awarded in 2000 to the creators and cast of “If These Walls Could Talk” and “If These Walls Could Talk 2.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Getty Images

Heche married Coley Laffoon in 2001. They had a son together, Homer, before divorcing in 2009.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Theo Wargo/WireImage/Getty Images

Heche and Laffoon walk with their son in 2002.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Chris Weeks/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Heche attends the Los Angeles premiere of “American Splendor” in 2003.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Heche and boyfriend James Tupper arrive at an Emmy Awards reception in 2010. They had a son together, Atlas.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Michael Caulfield/WireImage/Getty Images

Heche and actress Conchata Ferrell perform at a theater in Santa Monica, California, during a cancer benefit in 2010.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Vivian Zink/NBC/Getty Images

Heche, center, appears on an episode of “Save Me” in 2013.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Eric Liebowitz/NBC/Getty Images

Heche and Juliette Goglia work with Michael J. Fox on a 2013 episode of “The Michael J. Fox Show.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Phillipe Bosse/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Heche on a 2015 episode of “Quantico.”

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Patrick Randak/NBC/Getty Images

Heche takes a photo with her son Homer in 2017.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Heche takes a bow with other actors during a curtain call for the “Twentieth Century” benefit concert reading in 2019. Earlier in her career, Heche appeared in the Broadway play and was nominated for a Tony Award.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Eric McCandless/Disney General Entertainment Content/Getty Images

Heche dances with Keo Motsepe on the TV competition “Dancing With the Stars” in 2020.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Erik Voake/CBS/Getty Images

Heche appears in an episode of “All Rise” in 2021.

Photos: Actress Anne Heche

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Heche attends the Directors Guild of America Awards in March.

Shortly after her stop at the hair salon, Heche’s speeding car barreled into a home in Los Angeles, police said. Video from the scene showed the charred shell of the car and clouds of smoke.

“Solo passenger vehicle struck and came to rest well within a 738 square foot two-story home built in 1952, causing structural compromise and erupting in heavy fire,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

It took the nearly 60 firefighters about 65 minutes to extinguish the flames and rescue Heche, authorities said. She rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Lynne Mishele lived in the home with her puppies, Bree and Rueban, and tortoise Marley. They barely made it out alive, but lost nearly everything in the fire, neighbor Roy Morgen told CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS. Heche’s car stopped about two feet away from where Mishele was sitting, Morgen said.

Just before the crash, Heche was involved in a separate hit-and-run incident, but her serious injuries prevented officers from questioning her about it, a law enforcement source said. LAPD authorities told CNN that there are no plans to release additional details on that incident.

At the time of the crash, Heche was involved in several projects, including the “Better Together” podcast, which highlighted meaningful friendships. In an episode of the podcast released before the crash, Heche talked about having a bad day. “Today’s been a very unique day,” she said in the podcast. “I don’t know what happened, sometimes days just suck.”

It’s unclear when the episode was recorded. Not much is known about her whereabouts that morning until minutes before the crash.

The 911 call provides insight into the panic at the scene of the crash.

In the frantic audio, the caller told dispatch that the car moved so fast, it’s in the second room of the home. “Like 10 feet into the house,” the caller said.

Later the caller told dispatch the car was on fire and the smoke was turning “really black,” while others yelled in the background that someone was trapped in the car. Sirens blared in the background.

“Here comes the paramedic,” the caller said. Dispatch urged the caller to stay on the phone until the medics start helping the victim.

Heche was hospitalized in critical condition following the crash.

Detectives got a search warrant for her blood sample, and tests later showed she was under the influence of narcotics, police said.

Her spokesperson told CNN the actress had a significant pulmonary injury that required a ventilator and severe burns. Her family and friends later said she also experienced a severe anoxic brain injury, which occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen.

Until her death Sunday, she was kept on life support to determine whether her organs were viable for donation and a match was made.

The LAPD initially announced that she was under investigation for felony DUI after her blood work showed signs of impairment, elevating it from a misdemeanor DUI.

After her death, authorities dropped their felony investigation into the crash, police said.