The investigation surrounding country star Kylie Rae Harris’ death is complete. New Mexico police revealed that the “Sticks and Stones” singer was drunk behind the wheel and traveled at an incredibly high speed on September 4, when her car collided with two others. She was 30 years old. 16-year old Maria Cruz of San Cristobal was also killed as a result of the accident.
A spokesperson for the Taos County Sheriff's Office revealed in a press release on December 5 that “Data from the cars’ on-board computers showed Ms. Harris’ speed at 102 miles per hour at the time of the first collision event before crossing into the oncoming lane and striking Ms. Cruz’ vehicle at 95 miles per hour.”
On September 4, Kylie was driving south on State Route 522 in a black Chevrolet Equinox when she hit a black Chevrolet Avalanche from behind. The collision sent Kylie’s vehicle into the northbound traffic lane, and resulted in her crashing into Maria’s Jeep, which traveled north on State Route 522 at the time.
According to authorities, the impact of the crash killed Kylie and Maria, who were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the third vehicle didn’t suffer serious injuries, according to reports.
Authorities also noted that Kylie was drunk at the time of the crash. “The report on Ms. Cruz shows no alcohol was present at the time of her death. The report on Ms. Harris shows a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .28, which is over three times the legal limit for impaired driving was present at the time of her death,” the press release stated.
After the investigation was complete, Kylie’s family lamented that alcohol was a factor that contributed to the deaths of two people. “The family of Kylie Rae Harris received the toxicology report and deeply regret that alcohol contributed to the tragic deaths of Maria Elena Cruz and Kylie,” the family said in a statement. “No family should have to endure the heartbreak of losing a child.”
Days after the crash, Kylie’s mom Betsy Cowan said that alcohol was “something Kylie struggled with on-and-off over the years.” “If you’ve ever had to take defensive driving, they say sleep deprivation, emotions and alcohol are the top three contributors to most wrecks,” she explained. “And so any one of those things could have done it … She had driven 11 or 12 hours that day, and I’m sure that she was exhausted and she was emotionally exhausted. And I think we all know what that does to you.”
On the day of the accident, Kylie was on her way to Taos to perform at the Big Barn Dance Music Festival. “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 tweeted hours before the fatal collision.