Texas country star Kylie Rae Harris was over three times the legal limit with a blood alcohol level of .28 when she caused a fatal crash that took her life, and the life of 16-year-old Maria Elena Cruz in a three-vehicle accident in Taos, NM on September 4th, 2019. In the official autopsy and toxicology report obtained by Saving Country Music, Medical Investigator Lori Proe of the New Mexico University School of Medicine confirms Kylie Rae’s degree of inebriation, and that she died due to blunt force trauma during the accident. No other drugs or intoxicants were found in Kylie Rae’s system at the time.
The fatal accident occurred September 4th on State Road 522 near Milepost 1 in Taos. According to police and computer data from Kylie Rae’s Chevrolet Equinox, Harris was traveling at 102 mph when she struck a Chevrolet Avalanche in front of her in the southbound lane. This caused Kylie Rae’s vehicle to swerve into the northbound lane where she struck the Jeep SUV of Maria Elena Cruz head on at a speed of 95 mph, killing both drivers instantly. Maria Elena Cruz was driving 51 mph during the time of the collision. The third driver was uninjured in the accident.
Kylie Rae Harris was in the northern New Mexico town to play the Big Barn Dance on September 5th. Maria Elena Cruz was a student at Taos High School, and was from nearby San Crostobal. Maria Elena Cruz’s father, Pedro Cruz, was a deputy fire chief for the San Crostobal Volunteer Fire Department, and was one of the first responders to the accident where he learned his daughter had been killed.
Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe had suspected both alcohol and speed had contributed to the fatal crash for the initial investigation, but the toxicology confirms alcohol played a major role in the accident. Kylie Rae Harris also had a previous 2017 conviction for DWI in Texas.
“The now completed investigation supports what we suspected at the time of our initial investigation,” Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said in a press release Thursday (12-5) afternoon.