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EMT dad responds to fatal accident of country star Kylie Rae Harris, finds out daughter was the victim

2019-09-08

Country singer and songwriter Kylie Rae Harris died in a New Mexico collision on Wednesday.

The 16-year-old Texas girl who died in a Wednesday collision with country singer Kylie Rae Harris was treated at the scene by her EMT father, who had no idea the victim was his daughter.

Maria Elena Cruz was driving home from work near Taos, N.M., when 30-year-old Harris crashed into her.

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Cruz’s father, Pedro Cruz, a volunteer deputy fire chief for the San Cristobal Fire Department, responded to the deadly accident completely unaware that his daughter was one of his victims, reported Albuquerque TV station KRQE.

Maria Elena Cruz was one of two people killed in a crash north of Taos, N.M., on Wednesday.
Maria Elena Cruz was one of two people killed in a crash north of Taos, N.M., on Wednesday.

“He’s also an EMT, so he’s no stranger to going out on calls both medical and other things,” explained Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe. “But very traumatic for him to not know but to respond anyway and then find it was his family member.”

Sheriff’s investigators claim Maria Elena Cruz was heading home from work Wednesday evening when Harris’ vehicle clipped a car, which forced her to careen into oncoming traffic in front of Cruz’s car. Both Cruz and Harris died at the scene.

One of the three vehicles involved in the Taos crash.
One of the three vehicles involved in the Taos crash. (TAOS COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

Friday night, dozens of community members hosted a benefit dinner at the San Cristobal Community Center to raise funds for funeral costs.

“They just want the community to remember their daughter, Maria Elena, as kind, loving and caring,” said Taos County Fire Chief Mike Cordova. “Wonderful daughter, wonderful sister, and just kind-hearted soul.”

Harris had a history of driving under the influence, according to KRQE. In 2017, she was arrested for drunken driving near Dallas, in which her blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit.

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