By Julius Young
Published September 06, 2019
Authorities in Taos County, N.M., suspect country singer Kylie Rae Harris was responsible for the three-vehicle accident that killed her as well as a 16-year-old girl on Thursday night, according to multiple reports.
"At this time I will say with most certainty that [the 16-year-old] was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris," Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Friday in a statement first reported by TaosNews.com and The Tennessean.
Law enforcement said Harris was traveling south on State Road 522 in a black 2017 Chevrolet Equinox when the SUV made contact with the back of a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck. Authorities said the maneuver caused Harris to veer left into oncoming northbound traffic where her vehicle collided head-on with a white 2008 Jeep Liberty driven by the teenage girl.
Both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Avalanche was uninjured.
A rep for Harris did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
Police said Pedro Cruz, a Taos County firefighter/EMT, responded to the scene and found his daughter dead upon arrival.
The Sheriff’s Office also suspects speed and intoxication were factors in the accident, though authorities are awaiting a toxicology report from the Office of the Medical Investigator before making any official determination.
Court records indicate that Harris had a history of drinking and driving. In June 2017, she was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after records indicated she had a blood alcohol content level of over 0.15, nearly twice the legal limit. Harris was convicted in October 2017 and was ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in her car.
The crooner was also cited for speeding in 2014 when she was clocked going 81 in a 60 MPH zone.
Court documents obtained by Fox News show Harris was charged in May 2009 with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. However, she was granted deferred adjudication – a form of probation in Texas that allowed a “guilty” or “no contest” plea to be scrubbed from her record if she completed the terms of the agreement. Court records indicate the charges against Harris were dismissed on May 19, 2012, exactly three years later.
A GoFundMe Page was set up for the teen’s funeral expenses, while a separate GoFundMe has been created to raise money for Harris' funeral and her 6-year-old daughter's college fund.
The Taos County sheriff did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.