Natasha Richardson Died of Epidural Hematoma After Skiing Accident

Natasha Richardson's death was indeed caused by her fall on a Canadian ski slope.

The New York City Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy on the Tony Award-winning actress Thursday. She died Wednesday at age 45. The office ruled her death accidental, citing the cause as an epidural hematoma due to a blunt impact to the head.

Funeral arrangements for Richardson will be handled by New York City's Greenwich Village Funeral Home.

Richardson's husband, actor Liam Neeson, and family members were by her side when she died. Her death was announced in a statement released Wednesday evening by Neeson's publicist.

VIDEO: Natasha Richardson accidental death
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"Liam Neeson, his sons and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha," the statement said. "They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

Natasha Richardson and Liam Neeson, January 2007.

Richardson fell Monday at the Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. She initially appeared fine and joked about the fall, but the ski patrol insisted she see a doctor. Richardson declined, the resort said in a statement Tuesday.

Thursday, ABC News learned more details about what happened between when Richardson fell and when she sought medical attention. At 12:43 p.m. Monday, the first call to the paramedics was made. An ambulance arrived at 1 p.m. and transported Richardson from the foot of the mountain to the infirmary by sleigh.

Richardson thought she was fine and didn't want to stay at the infirmary. At 1:10 p.m., Richardson signed hospital waiver paperwork and walked 300 yards to hotel along with her ski instructor. She was back in her room by 1:30 p.m.

At 2:59 p.m., paramedics received a second call for help. An ambulance showed up at the hotel exactly ten minutes later. Richardson was conscious but showing signs that made paramedics call the hematology department at the Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe, where the ambulance took her.

On Wednesday, a Canadian newspaper confirmed that an ambulance was dispatched to the resort right after the accident, but the paramedics were told they were not needed and left.

"They never saw the patient," Yves Coderre, the operations manager for the ambulance service, told the Globe and Mail. "So they turned around."

Vanessa Redgrave, center, with daughters Natasha Richardson, left, and Joely Richardson, 2000.

"When you have a head trauma you can bleed. It can deteriorate in a few hours or a few days," Coderre added. "People don't realize it can be very serious. We warn them they can die and sometimes they start to laugh. They don't take it seriously."

Richardson was later transferred to Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur in Montreal before being flown to New York City's Lenox Hill Hospital Tuesday, where her relatives rushed to her side.

On Tuesday night, Richardson's mother, actress Vanessa Redgrave, was seen entering the New York City hospital. So was Richardson's sister, Joely Richardson. Neeson also reportedly was by her side. Actress Lauren Bacall was photographed visiting the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

Richardson Suffered Head Injury During Ski Lesson

The Toronto Star reported that Richardson, lying heavily wrapped in blankets in an intensive-care bed, tubes covering her face, was loaded into an ambulance outside Montreal's Hôpital du Sacre-Coeur at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, in preparation for her flight to New York.

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