As the world mourns the death of Anne Heche, another accident victim now faces the challenge of rebuilding her life after the accident burned her livelihood.
A resident who lived in the home that the American actress’ car crashed into has spoken out as new photos show the tragic aftermath of the fatal crash.
Lynn Michelle, a Creative Organization small business owner who does decluttering, narrowly escaped death after Heche crashed into her home on Walgrove Avenue in Los Angeles last week.
Comedian’s ex-girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres was speeding down the street in her Mini Clubman before she lost control and collided with a house.
The accident set Ms Michelet’s entire house on fire, and it took 59 firefighters 65 minutes to extinguish the blaze, according to reports.
Ms. Michele was lucky enough to escape the fire along with her two dogs Bree and Ruban, as well as Marley the tortoise. However, the rest of her property, including equipment for her business, was impossible to return.
Meanwhile, Heche suffered life-threatening injuries and, according to California law, was officially declared dead on Friday afternoon, with her body now being prepared for organ donation.
Police later confirmed Heche tested positive for cocaine and possibly fentanyl, however testing is expected to continue as authorities are unsure if the latter was administered at the hospital.
Photographs taken by Ms. Michelle and her landlord Jennifer Duran and partner John show the carnage caused by the collision with the house, with its contents reduced to rubble and ashes.
The house is almost unrecognizable, and half of Heche’s car is crushed under bricks and debris.
Ms. Michele’s homeowners and neighbors since the creation of the GoFundMe page help a “kind and generous” woman to get back on her feet.
“Lynn and her family narrowly escaped physical harm, and for that we are very grateful,” the homeowners said.
“The house, however, was completely burned down … and immediately marked with a red LAFD tag, requiring Lynn to leave the place she rents and loves.”
The report said firefighters were able to recover some sentimental items from the wreckage, but not enough to keep Ms Michelet alive.
“Lynn lost all of her possessions, souvenirs, all equipment for her business, including her laptop and iPad, all her clothes and essentials, and all household items,” they said.
But despite the fact that the accident had a significant impact on her own life, Ms Michele paid tribute to Heche in a video on your Instagram.
“The news of Anne Heche’s passing is devastating. Her family, her friends and especially her children have really suffered a great loss and my heart goes out to them,” said Ms. Michele.
“This whole situation is tragic, and really there are simply no words. I send love to all the members.”
To date, more than 4,000 people willing to help Ms Michele get their lives back on track have donated over $167,000 (US$234,000), with donations coming as far away as Western Australia.
The small business owner says she’s overwhelmed by the support and took to Instagram last week to thank her supporters.
“I wanted to send a huge, huge thank you to everyone from all over the world for the huge amount of love, compassion, generosity and kindness that people have shown over the past week,” she said in the video.
“Obviously it was the craziest, most traumatic time, the most confusing, so eventually I will try to go back to everyone and read all the comments, but thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
The post also features her dogs and a turtle, whom she is grateful for surviving the accident.
Ms. Michelet’s landlords describe their tenant as someone who is always ready to put others before himself.
Prior to launching her small business, which specializes in “simplifying everything,” Ms. Michelet was Director of Tourism at Citigroup and Marketing Consultant at Sony Pictures.
Now she posts organizing videos to her Instagram and shares tips and tricks on how to store and tidy up.
“A kind and generous person, Lynn is always the first to offer help to others. Today, we are asking the community to come together and help Lynn start over,” her homeowners said.
“You can also help Lynn get back on her feet by visiting her business pages on Instagram and TikTok @creativeorganization.”
Ms Michele said she would continue to inform her supporters by posting videos on her social media accounts.