Kylie Rae Harris is responsible for Wednesday’s fatal car accident that killed her and a 16-year-old female, the Taos County Sheriff’s Office has claimed.
Authorities identified local high school student Maria Elena Cruz as the second victim in the three-vehicle crash, which took place in northern New Mexico on the evening of Sept. 4. In a statement obtained by Taos News, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said, “At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris.”
Speed is reportedly being investigated as a possible contributing factor in the crash. According to the outlet, authorities also suspect alcohol played a role in the accident. An investigation is currently underway.
Taos News reports the 30-year-old country music performer was behind the wheel of a 2017 Chevrolet Equinox when she hit the back of a Chevrolet Avalanche, which pushed Harris’ vehicle into oncoming traffic. She then hit a 2008 Jeep driven by Cruz. Both were pronounced dead the scene, while the third driver escaped injury.
In 2017, Harris was convicted of driving while intoxicated and ordered to install an ignition interlock device on her vehicle, multiple outlets indicate. Three years prior, she reportedly received a speeding citation.
Kylie Rae Harris/Instagram
Hours before the crash, Harris posted an eery video to her Instagram Stories, where she recalled the death of her father, who she said used to drive the same road throughout his life.
“I’ve been driving for almost 12 hours and you would think that’s so exhausting and boring but like, the last couple of hours driving through the mountains and remembering my place in the back seat as a little kid when my dad was making these treks here. Like, it was the f–king best,” she said.
In the aftermath of both Harris and Cruz’s deaths, their respective families launched GoFundMe campaigns. Nearly $40,000 of a $50,000 goal has been raised and will benefit Harris’ family and young daughter. The Cruz family is hoping to raise $15,000. Taos News also reports community members gathered Friday for a fundraising dinner to help offset funeral costs.
Our thoughts continue to go out to their loved ones at this time.
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