Kylie Rae Harris’ Toxicology Results Reveal She Was Drunk Before Fatal Car Crash
Toxicology results for Texas-based country singer-songwriter Kylie Rae Harris indicate that her blood alcohol content (BAC) was .28 — three times the legal limit for impaired driving — at the time of the car crash that killed her and a 16-year-old girl in September.
The Taos County Sheriff's Office revealed the toxicology results on Thursday (Dec. 5).
Thirty-year-old Harris died on Sept. 4 on State Road 522 in Taos, N.M., when the Chevrolet Equinox she was driving struck a Chevrolet Avalanche from the rear. That contact sent her vehicle into the oncoming lane, where Harris collided head-on with a Jeep 16-year-old Maria Elena Cruz was driving. Both Harris and Cruz died at the scene, while the third driver was uninjured.
According to the Taos News, the Taos County Sheriff's Office retrieved the data recorders from the vehicles and reconstructed the scene, concluding that Harris was driving 102 MPH when she struck the Avalanche from behind and 95 MPH when she struck the Jeep head-on. The crash data showed that Cruz was traveling at a rate of 51 MPH.
The Taos County Sheriff's Office issued a statement on Sept. 19, saying, "Braking was indicated three-tenths of a second before impact."
E! News reports that Harris' official cause of death was blunt force trauma as a result of the crash.
“The information from the data boxes supports our at-scene investigation that two collision events occurred involving the three vehicles and that speed was definitely a contributing factor," Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said.
Based on their analysis of the crash site, investigators also offered a preliminary assessment that alcohol played a contributing role in the crash. Hogrefe blamed Harris for the accident in talking to Taos News days afterward, saying, "At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris."
The now-completed report shows no alcohol was present on Miss Cruz at her time of death.
According to public records, Harris had a DWI in 2017 in which her blood alcohol level exceeded .15, nearly twice the legal limit, resulting in an ignition interlock being installed in her vehicle by court order.
Harris' mother, Betsy Cowan, tells People that alcohol was “something [Harris] struggled with on-and-off over the years." The troubled singer seemed to be trying to put a difficult past behind her when she released her final self-titled EP in March of 2019.
“My twenties weren’t a walk in the park, a lot of that admittedly self-inflicted, but I grew a lot,” she said in a press release. “This project feels like the close of a real painful chapter and a welcome to whatever is next.”
Harris was a single mother who left behind a 6-year-old daughter named Corbie. One song on her final project, "Twenty Years From Now," addresses her daughter directly in the hope that she'll one day understand and forgive her mother for her decisions and mistakes.
"You deserve nothing less than happiness / And so do I / Twenty years from now / My prayer is that somehow / You’ll forgive all my mistakes and be proud of the choice I made / God I hope I’m still around / Twenty years from now," Harris sang in the eerie song.
Corbie performed "Twenty Years From Now" with Texas-based country and rock singer Bonnie Bishop at Harris' memorial service on Sept. 11.
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