TAOS, N.M . (KWTX) Kylie Rae Harris, 30, a rising country singer from Wylie, caused the three-vehicle crash in New Mexico that claimed her life and also left a 16-year-old girl who was driving another of the three vehicles dead, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said Friday.
Kylie Rae Harris (shown with Wade Bowen) performed at this summer’s Bowen MusicFest in Waco. “She answered every time and was always there and ready to be her best,” Bowen said in a Facebook post Thursday. (Courtesy photo)
Speed appeared to have been a contributing factor in the crash in which Harris’ vehicle clipped the back of another vehicle, sending Harris into oncoming traffic, Hogrefe said.
Harris’ vehicle then crashed head-on into an SUV driven by Maria Elena Cruz, a Taos High School student who died at the scene.
The responding emergency crew included the teenager's father, Pedro Cruz, the deputy chief of the San Cristobal Volunteer Fire Department.
The community is holding a fundraising dinner to help the Cruz family.
The accident occurred at around 9 p.m. Wednesday on State Road 522 in northern New Mexico.
The driver of the third vehicle wasn’t injured, according to wire service reports.
Harris was scheduled to perform Thursday at a music festival in Taos, N.M.
In her final social media post Wednesday 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."
Harris, a single mother who’s survived by her daughter, Corbie, released her first EP, "Taking It Back," in 2013 and her most recent EP came out in April.
She received the Female Vocalist of the Year Award in the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards in 2014.
“Everyone that knew Kylie knew how much she loved her family and, beyond that, how much she loved music. The best tribute to her unmatched enthusiasm for both is to spread as much love as you can today, and listen to music that fully inspires you,” Harris’ publicist said in a statement to Billboard.
Harris performed at this summer’s Bowen MusicFest in Waco.
“She answered every time and was always there and ready to be her best,” Wade Bowen said in a Facebook post Thursday.
“She prepared and took music as serious as anyone I know. She had her few little weaknesses (as we all most certainly do) and, looking back, most of those revolved around her wanting to always be there, be around others, be around music,” he wrote.
“To say music was her passion is an insult. It went way beyond that.”
“She was happy. She was my damn friend,” he wrote.
(Julie Hays contributed to this story)