Skye McCole Bartusiak: The Patriot actress cause of death determined as accidental overdose

Bartusiak appeared in The Patriot (2000) as Mel Gibson's daughter and died following a lethal combination of pain killers and muscle relaxants

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The Independent Online

Officials have ruled that actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who passed away in July, died from an accidental overdose.

Bartusiak, who starred as Mel Gibson's young daughter in The Patriot (2000), was found in her bed by her boyfriend in Houston, Texas, on 19 July at the age of 21.

An autopsy report by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences confirms that the primary cause of death was “combined toxic effects of hydrocodone and difluoroethane with carisoprodol” and that the manner of the death was an “accident”.

As reported by TMZ, hydrocodone is pain relief – with a potency similar to morphine according to the US government – while difluoroethane is an odourless gas which can be sniffed to get high and carisoprodol is a muscle relaxant.


Bartusiak, who also had a role in TV series 24 from 2002 - 2003, had been living in a garage apartment at her parents’ home.

She made her film debut in The Cider House Rules in 1999, while her most recent movie was Sick Boy in 2012. Upon her daughter’s death, Helen Bartusiak had said that Skye was healthy and did not experiment with drink or drugs, and had suffered from epileptic seizures since she was young.

“We think she had a seizure and choked and nobody was there,” Skye’s mother Helen Bartusiak told CNN at the time.