Death Of 'Patriot' Child Star Ruled an Accidental Overdose

By McCarton Ackerman 10/15/14

Skye McCole Bartusiak died of a mixture of painkillers and inhalants.

Skye McCole Bartusiak.jpg

The death of former child star Skye McCole Bartusiak, best known for her role as Mel Gibson’s youngest daughter in The Patriot, has been ruled an accidental overdose.

The 21-year-old passed away in her sleep at her home in Texas on July 19. Officials have now confirmed that her death was an accidental overdose due to the combined effects of hydrocodone and difluoroethane with carisoprodol. Hydrocodone is commonly found in painkillers, while difluoroethane is a muscle relaxant, and carisoprodol is an inhalant commonly used to get high.

The reported cause of death contradicts the statements of Skye’s mother, Helen, who said shortly after the tragedy that her daughter “did not drink or do drugs.” She also revealed that Skye had been suffering from epileptic seizures since she was a baby and had seizures the week before her death. "[The paramedics] were working on her for 45 minutes and could not get a heartbeat,” said Helen.” I've done CPR on that kid more than one time and it just didn't work this time."

Sadly, Skye isn’t the first cast member of The Patriot to die from drugs. Heath Ledger, who played Gibson’s son, died in 2008 from a combined drug intoxication at the age of 28.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.