As Anne Heche remains in stable condition in the ICU of an unnamed hospital after reportedly suffering severe burns after crashing her Mini Cooper into a house, eyewitnesses from the neighbourhood are sharing new details of what took place.
One of these witnesses, Lynne Bernstein, described the crash as “horrific,” revealing the smoke was so thick from the fire while he attempted to help Heche exit her vehicle that breathing was difficult.
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“The smoke was just getting way too intense, we could hardly breathe,” Bernstein told Fox News. “The smoke was making it difficult to see.”
Bernstein recalled that he and his wife saw the car barreling down their street at a “high rate of speed” just before his wife heard the vehicle smash into a neighbour’s house.
Bernstein explained that the car drove “almost all the way through” the house and “almost immediately” caught fire, while another neighbour, Dave, managed to speak with Heche while unsuccessfully trying to free her from the badly mangled vehicle.
Asked if she was okay, Bernstein said, “She responded that she wasn’t doing real well. He actually talked to her briefly. Yeah, he asked her to raise her hand or something… if she was okay and she said she couldn’t.”
After witnessing the magnitude of the fiery crash, Bernstein added, “We were just looking inside, going ‘How could you survive that?’ Because we had a hard time breathing even outside of the house. So, somebody was watching out over her, I guess. I mean, as seriously injured she may be.”
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The resident of the house that Heche has crashed into was “shocked,” and initially told the group of people who had gathered outside the to “get out of my house” before realizing a car had driven through her home; the resident of the house, Bernstein added, was “perfectly fine, thank God.”
Heche, he noted, was “conscious,” but he wasn’t able to judge how “coherent” she was in the moments after crashing into the house, which ignited a fire that took 59 firefighters to extinguish.
Another neighbour, Yaroslav Borets, said that the crash “scared the entire neighbourhood.
Neighbour Sarah Bixler Pierce told Fox News she’d spoken with a firefighter on the scene, who told her Heche “had driven her car at like 100 mph through the trees and into that house,” and that the actress was “delirious” when they finally pulled her out of the car.
No other injuries were sustained due to the crash, which is currently under investigation.