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Country singer Kylie Rae Harris caused deadly crash: sheriff

2019-09-07

Country singer Kylie Rae Harris caused the crash that killed a 16-year-old high school student and herself on Wednesday night, according to authorities.

Harris, 30, was on her way to the Big Barn Dance music festival in Taos, N.M., when she crashed into Taos High School sophomore Maria Elena Cruz.

“At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris,” Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Friday.

Investigators said speed appeared to be a contributing factor in the crash. Alcohol is also suspected as a contributing factor, but investigators are still awaiting a toxicology report from the Office of the Medical Investigator, Taos News reported.

The sheriff’s office determined Harris was driving south towards Taos in a 2017 black Chevrolet Equinox when she clipped the back of a black Chevrolet Avalanche sending her vehicle into the northbound lane. It caused Harris to hit Cruz’s white 2008 Jeep head on, killing them both. The third driver involved in the crash was uninjured.

Hogrefe doubled down on his previous comments in a Facebook post saying, “Make no mistake both lives lost are tragic, I stand behind my statements and the integrity of our investigation.”

Harris had a prior DWI conviction in Collin County, Texas, in 2017.

Shortly before the wreck, she posted a tearful video to her Instagram story about coming to New Mexico in years past with family members that have now passed away.

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