Kylie Rae Harris Caused Fatal 3-Car Crash, Police Say
Kylie Rae Harris is at fault in the three-car accident on Wednesday (Sept. 4) that killed the singer and a 16-year-old woman, police say. Both speed and alcohol were factors in the fatal accident, according to officials, though they are awaiting a toxicology report to confirm details.
Harris, 30, and 16-year-old Maria Cruz of San Cristobal, N.M., were killed on Wednesday evening around 9PM local time in the accident that also involved a third, unidentified and uninjured driver. The crash occurred at Milepost 1 of State Road 522 around 9PM local time, per TaosNews.com.
According to TaosNews.com, Harris was driving south on State Road 522 in a black 2017 Chevrolet Equinox when she clipped the back of a black Chevrolet Avalanche, driven by the unidentified third driver. That caused Harris' vehicle to move into the northbound lane of the road and hit Cruz's white 2008 Jeep head on. The Taos County Sheriff's Office says that all three drivers were wearing seatbelts.
"At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris," says Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe.
Taste of County reports that Harris received a DWI charge in 2017. Her blood alcohol level at the time exceeded .15 (the legal limit is .08), which resulted in an ignition interlock being installed in her car.
The 2014 Texas Regional Radio Music Awards Female Vocalist of the Year, Harris was a Wylie, Texas, native. She escaped an abusive relationship, which ended with legal troubles, after high school and kept pursuing music, a passion since she was a pre-teen.
“My twenties weren’t a walk in the park, a lot of that admittedly self-inflicted, but I grew a lot,” Harris told Taste of Country in January. “This project feels like the close of a real painful chapter and a welcome to whatever is next."
Harris' newest EP, a self-titled project, arrived in March. She co-wrote with Jon Randall, Bonnie Bishop, Wayne Kirkpatrick and more for the record.
"She was a great person and she made everybody feel welcomed and loved and cared for," fellow Texas country artist Randy Rogers tells Taste of Country. "She was a really bright, shining light ... I remember the first time I heard her sing, I’ll never forget it."
Harris was in Taos for a Thursday night (Sept. 5) show at Michael Hearne's Big Barn Dance Music Festival. According to Billboard, she is survived by a daughter, Corbie. A GoFundMe has been set up to raise money for Harris' funeral expenses and start a college fund for Corbie.
Cruz, the 16-year-old who died in the accident, is the daughter of Pedro Cruz, a San Cristobal Volunteer Fire Department deputy chief, who was one of the personnel who responded to the crash site. A GoFundMe has been set up for her family as well.
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