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Sheriff: Singer Harris was drunk, speeding before crash

TAOS – Texas country singer Kylie Rae Harris was legally impaired by alcohol and driving 95 mph when she and another driver were killed in a three-vehicle crash on a rural highway on Sept. 4, a northern New Mexico sheriff said.

Toxicology testing showed Harris had a blood-alcohol level of .28 percent, which is over three times the legal limit for impaired driving, Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said in a statement Thursday.

On-board computer data also indicated that Harris was driving 102 mph before the crash, Holgrefe said.

The other driver killed in the wreck, 16-year-old Taos High School student Maria Elena Cruz, had no alcohol in her system, the sheriff said.

Holgreg previously said investigators believed Harris was impaired and that speed was another factor in the crash. Investigators believed Harris clipped the back of another vehicle, sending her into oncoming traffic and a head-on collision with an SUV driven by Cruz, Holgrefe said.

The driver of the third vehicle was not seriously injured.

The Taos News previously reported that Harris, 30, had a prior DWI conviction in Collin County, Texas, in 2017 and had been ordered to install an ignition interlock device on her vehicle, according to court records.

Harris was in the Taos area to perform at an annual music festival. She had posted on social media earlier that day that she was low on gas and 36 miles from the nearest gas station.

“Dear baby Jesus please don’t let me get stranded in NM,” she tweeted.

Harris released a self-titled album earlier this year and had spent the summer traveling to shows throughout Texas.