Country singer Kylie Rae Harris was drunk, speeding at 102 mph at time of crash that killed her and a teen, police probe confirms

by Editorial Team

Country singer Kylie Rae Harris was drunk and speeding at up to 102 miles per hour during the three-vehicle crash in New Mexico that took both her life and that of a teenager in September, a police investigation confirmed.

At the time she died, Harris’ blood alcohol concentration, at .28, was “three times the legal limit for impaired driving,” the Taos County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.

The sheriff’s office had previously said that Harris, 30, was responsible for the Sept. 4 crash in Taos that also killed 16-year-old Maria Elena Cruz. They both died at the scene.

“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 on Sept. 6.

The sheriff’s office said in a release Thursday data gathered from the on-board computers showed Harris was driving 102 miles per hour on State Road 522 in her 2017 black Chevrolet Equinox when she clipped the back of a black Chevrolet Avalanche. Authorities say she then “[crossed] into the oncoming lane” and fatally struck Cruz’s white 2008 Jeep head on at 95 miles per hour.

“The now completed investigation supports what we suspected at the time of our initial investigation and my earlier press release that stated alcohol consumption was suspected and speeding was a factor,” Hogrefe stated.

Harris, who had a prior DWI conviction from 2017, was a single mother to a 6-year-old daughter, Corbie. Earlier this year, the singer released a song for her daughter, expressing her fear of not living to see the young girl grow up.

Shortly after the crash, Harris’ mother, Betsy Cowan, told People alcohol was “something [Kylie] struggled with on-and-off over the years.”

In the hours leading up to the crash, Harris posted a series of foreboding videos to her Instagram stories, in which she mentioned that all of her relatives who lived in the New Mexico city — about 70 miles north of state capital Santa Fe — save for her uncle, had also died there.

Cruz’s EMT father, Pedro Cruz, treated his daughter at the scene, not realizing she was one of the victims. The teenager was on her way home from work when she was killed.


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