Cops: Country Singer Killed in 3-Car Crash Caused It

Excessive speed, alcohol suspected in crash that took the life of Kylie Rae Harris and teen girl
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2019 7:30 AM CDT

The three-car crash Wednesday in New Mexico that took the life of country singer Kylie Rae Harris and a teen girl was caused by Harris herself. That's per the Taos County Sheriff's Office, which says that excessive speed appeared to be a contributing factor, and that alcohol may have also played a role in the crash that killed the 30-year-old performer and 16-year-old Maria Elena Cruz, the Tennessean reports. "At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris," Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe says. Per the Taos News, investigators say Harris was driving on State Road 522 when she clipped another car, which sent her own vehicle into oncoming traffic. That's when her car struck a Jeep driven by Cruz.

Both Harris and Cruz died at the scene; the third driver escaped injury. The News cites court records showing Harris had a 2017 DWI conviction in Collin County, Texas, after which she was ordered by the court to install an ignition interlock device in her car to prevent her from driving while intoxicated. Although Harris' mother tells People that her daughter had driven "11 or 12 hours that day" and was likely "exhausted," she also notes alcohol is "something [Kylie] struggled with on and off over the years." Hogrefe tells Yahoo Entertainment that because Harris died in the crash and there's no rush to press criminal charges, the toxicology report could take "several months up to a year." Meanwhile, Inside Edition reports on a song Harris had previously written for her 6-year-old daughter, just in case she ended up dying young and leaving her daughter behind. (Read more country music stories.)

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