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Country singer was drunk and speeding when she caused crash that killed teen daughter of Texas Fire Chief

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Marc Ramirez
The Dallas Morning News

Country singer Kylie Rae Harris was impaired by alcohol and driving as fast as 102 miles an hour before the September accident that killed her and a 16-year-old girl in New Mexico, authorities said Thursday.

According to Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, toxicology tests showed that Harris, a 30-year-old Wylie native, had a blood-alcohol level of .28 percent, the Associated Press reported. The reading is more than three times the legal limit for impaired driving.

Taos High student Maria Elena Cruz of nearby San Cristobal, who was driving one of two other vehicles involved in the crash, had no alcohol in her system, Hogrefe said.

Investigators believe Harris clipped the back of one vehicle and careened into oncoming traffic, where she struck Cruz’ vehicle head-on, he added. On-board computer data showed Harris was driving 95 mph when the accident occurred.

The driver of the vehicle that was clipped was not injured.



“I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris,” Hogrefe told the Taos News after the accident.

Among the first responders at the scene was Pedro Cruz, Maria Cruz’s father and deputy chief of the San Cristobal fire department.

According to Collin County court records, Harris was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Allen in 2017, with her blood alcohol content above 0.15 percent. She was sentenced to five days in jail, had her driver’s license suspended for 180 days and was required to have an ignition interlock device installed on her vehicle.

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