Man who reached Anne Heche first reveals ‘tough’ exchange before car burst into flames, eyewitness accounts follow

After actress Anne Heche’s horrific car crash Friday, nearby residents were the first responders and their eyewitness reports recounted their efforts before a blaze ignited that 59 firefighters worked to extinguish.

Details remain unknown about the state of health the 53-year-old actress was in prior to the erratic driving that resulted in her driving through a home in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles, CA, but a fuller picture of the moments surrounding the crash was provided by neighbors who rushed into action.

David Manpearl was the first person to reach Heche in her wrecked Mini Cooper and he told Fox News Digital how he came to find her responsive amidst the wreckage, “I saw a car speeding by in front of my house and a few moments later I heard a crash.”

Other witnesses had seen the actress fleeing an earlier incident where she had allegedly driven into a garage door of an apartment complex.

Reportedly joined by two neighbors, Manpearl arrived at the scene and described the extent of the damage, “It went all the way through to the back of the house. The windows were broken, so I opened the back door of the car.”

When he found Heche, she was conscious, “She finally answered and said she was not okay. So that was tough.” To make matters worse, Manpearl explained the position of the car and the speed at which the flames erupted made a rescue “impossible” until the firefighters arrived.

“I know they didn’t get her out of the car until the fire was pretty much put out,” he told Fox News Digital.

Manpearl’s story was corroborated by neighbor Lynne Bernstein who had similarly rushed into action neglecting to put on shoes in his haste to see what had happened. He detailed a third neighbor, Fabian, had grabbed a hose to put out the fire while Manpearl endeavored to free Heche from the crash.

(Video: Fox News Digital)

“The smoke was just getting way too intense. But, even the back of the house — we could hardly breathe. The smoke making difficult to see,” Bernstein explained as they had sought some alternative way to reach the victim.

Meanwhile, the resident of the home was assisted by Manpearl in getting out of the wreckage, “She was trying to get her dogs out of the house and was a little bit confused.”

Sarah Bixler Pierce told Fox News Digital of her experience attempting to get home and finding all of the emergency vehicles. “It was scary because my baby was home.”

(Video: Fox News Digital)

She went on to note that she had spoken with a firefighter who described the accident to her and said Heche “had driven her car at like 100 mph through the trees and into that house.” He also told Pierce that the actress was “delirious” when she was finally extracted from the crash. It had been previously reported that Heche appeared to flail her arms as she was placed in an ambulance.

As she is recovering at a nearby hospital, the Washington Examiner reported that her ex-boyfriend Tom Jane, whom she dated from 2019 to 2020, released a statement after learning the actress was expected to survive from her injuries.

“My heart goes out to Anne and her two sons. As of right now Anne is stable and expected to pull through,” Jane said. “My thoughts and prayers are with Anne, one of the true talents of her generation. Thank God no one else was hurt.”


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