Police say preliminary blood tests have revealed the presence of drugs in Anne Heche’s system after the US actress was involved in a fiery car crash which left her in a coma.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said additional testing was required to rule out any substances that were administered in the hospital.
LAPD spokesman Matthew Cruz also confirmed to the PA news agency that the incident was being investigated as a felony driving-under-the-influence (DUI) traffic collision.
Heche, 53, was taken to hospital following the crash on Friday morning in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles and remains in a critical condition, after her car was “engulfed in flames”.
She is the former partner of US talk show host Ellen DeGeneres – the pair began dating in 1997 before separating in 2000 – and is known for films including Donnie Brasco, Cedar Rapids and the 1998 Psycho remake.
In an updated press release on Thursday, the LAPD confirmed an investigation was underway into the incident.
“On August 5 2022 at around 10.55am a vehicle driven by Anne Heche collided with a residence in the 1700 block of Walgrove Avenue,” the report stated.
“Heche sustained significant injuries, was rendered medical attention by the Los Angeles Fire Department and subsequently transported to a local hospital where she is still receiving medical attention.
“As part of an investigative process, West Traffic Detectives composed a search warrant for a blood sample from Heche, which is common practice for a case of this manner.”
The release added: “This case is still an active and ongoing investigation and is currently in the process of gathering additional evidence; to include final toxicology results, and medical records from both parties involved.
“It is the intent of the investigating Detectives to present this case to the appropriate prosecuting office: the Los Angeles County District Attorney or the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office once all pertinent evidence has been gathered.”
Speaking to PA, Mr Cruz said that preliminary blood tests “did show signs of narcotics”.
Pictures and video footage obtained by US media outlet TMZ following the incident showed Ms Heche driving a blue Mini Cooper, which was later pictured severely damaged at the scene.
The vehicle struck a two-storey home and “erupted in heavy fire” according to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD).
59 firefighters took 65 minutes to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure, according to an LAFD report.
Heche sustained a “significant pulmonary injury requiring mechanical ventilation” and “burns that require surgical intervention”, a spokeswoman for the actress confirmed to PA.