UPDATE: Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told Taos News, "At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris." Investigators believe speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors, however toxicology reports are pending.
Kylie Rae Harris, 30, was on her way to the Big Barn Dance Music Festival in Taos, New Mexico, when she died in a horrific car crash.
Now, DailyMail.com reports the details of the accident, and Harris’ past DWI conviction.
Authorities tell the paper that Harris was driving south on SR 522 in a black Chevrolet Equinox around 9 p.m. when she clipped the back of a Chevrolet Avalanche. She veered into the oncoming lane and struck a white Jeep head-on.
The driver of the Jeep was reportedly a 16-year-old Taos high school student named Maria Cruz, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Her father Pedro Cruz, the San Cristobal Volunteer Fire deputy chief, was among the first responders on the scene.
The driver of the Chevrolet Avalanche was not injured and has not been identified.
Court records obtained by the publication reveal that Harris was convicted of driving while intoxicated in June 2017. Her blood alcohol level was reportedly almost double the legal limit, at 0.15.
She received a $460.10 fine and was required to install a breathalyzer machine called an Ignition Interlock Device in her car. In 2014, the singer was ticketed for going 81 mph in a 60 mph zone in Texas.
Harris’ mother Betsy Cowan posted a statement on Facebook, writing, “Needless to say, we have a huge hole in our hearts right now. We knew our Kylie made a big impact on those around her, but I don't think we could have fathomed how many people truly loved and cherished her.”
She noted that there will be opportunities for fans to honor Kylie Rae in the coming weeks and months, and that a service for family and close friends will be held next week.
Cowan added, “Please know that we've never been a big fan of GoFundMe pages, but I believe there will be several benefits for Kylie's precious 6-year-old daughter, Corbie, as Kylie, like most musicians, did not have assets or life insurance.”
She also shared her condolences for the Cruz family, saying, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the 16-year-old girl who also died on the scene of the accident last night in Taos.”
Harris was active on social media in the hours before she died. In a final tweet, she wrote, "Fuel range is 46 miles and I'm 36 from the nearest gas station Dear baby Jesus please don't let me get stranded in NM."
She also shared a series of haunting Instagram Stories, crying and grieving for her dad, telling fans that her father and grandparents had lived in Taos, but had since passed away.
She recalled driving the same roads with her dad and sister as a kid, and the time some cows appeared on the road. Her dad hit one, but told the girls it was just a cow guard.
As she was driving on Wednesday, Kylie had an encounter that reminded her of her dad.
“I started getting really sad and then all of a sudden these random cows showed up in the middle of the road… these cows appeared out of nowhere.”
She ended the story, saying, “We grieve in different ways.”