TAOS, NEW MEXICO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — North Texas country singer Kylie Rae Harris caused a three-vehicle crash in northern New Mexico that left her and a 16-year-old girl dead Wednesday, authorities said.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told the Taos News that investigators believe Harris caused the crash, and that speed appeared to be a contributing factor when she clipped the back of another vehicle, sending her into oncoming traffic. She then crashed head-on into an SUV driven by Taos High School student Maria Elena Cruz.
Both Harris and Cruz died at the scene. The responding emergency crew included the teen’s father, Pedro Cruz, the deputy chief of the San Cristobal Volunteer Fire Department.
Authorities have also said evidence at the crash scene indicated alcohol may have been involved, though they declined to provide details. They were awaiting a toxicology report from the coroner’s office.
According to court records, Harris, 30, had a prior DWI conviction in Collin County, Texas, in 2017 and had been ordered to install an ignition interlock device on her vehicle.
She was in Taos to perform at an annual music festival and had posted on social media earlier that day that she was low on gas and 36 miles from the nearest gas station.
“Dear baby Jesus please don’t let me get stranded in NM,” she tweeted.
Harris’ publicist, Sarah Frost, said Thursday the musician’s family and friends were heartbroken over her death. Harris released a self-titled album earlier this year and had spent the summer traveling to shows throughout Texas.
Students and faculty at Taos High were in shock after learning that Cruz was killed in the crash. The sophomore was remembered as beautiful, kind, hardworking, intelligent and inspirational.
Taos County Fire Manager Mike Cordova said in an email that the Cruz family was reeling from her death. The community of San Cristobal was holding a fundraising dinner Friday to help the family with funeral costs.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)