Country singer Kylie Rae Harris had multiple citations for drunk driving and speeding and had a court-ordered breathalyzer installed in her car, DailyMail.com can reveal.
The 30-year-old was killed in a three-car collision that also claimed the life of 16-year-old high school student Maria Cruz in Taos, New Mexico Wednesday night.
Police revealed alcohol was a factor in the accident but have not disclosed which driver had been drinking.
Court records obtained by DailyMail.com show Harris was convicted in June 2017 of driving while intoxicated with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.15, almost double the legal limit of 0.08.
The singer was fined $460.10 for the offense, and the judge ordered an Ignition Interlock Device be attached to her car that required her to take a breathalyzer test before getting behind the wheel.
In 2014, Harris was also fined $302 for speeding after she was caught driving 81mph in a 60mph zone in Dallas.
Police said the fatal accident occurred around 9pm along State Road 522, and killed both Harris and Cruz, who was driving another vehicle. Both were wearing seatbelts at the time.
The high school student was the daughter of San Cristobal Volunteer Fire deputy chief Pedro Cruz who was among those who responded to the crash site.
Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene.
The third driver escaped uninjured and has not been identified.
Police have not indicated who they suspect was drinking but said they were waiting for toxicology results to come back from the medical investigator, the Tao News reports.
Authorities say Harris was driving south in a black Chevrolet Equinox when she clipped the back of a Chevrolet Avalanche and veered into the northbound lane.
Harris struck Cruz’s white jeep head on.
A fundraising dinner scheduled for Friday that was meant to raise funds for the San Cristobal Community Center will now be a fundraiser for the Cruz family.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help the family with funeral costs.
The singer’s mother, Betsy Cowan, a 56-year-old realtor, released a statement on her Facebook on Thursday, announcing a church memorial service next week.
After hearing news of the accident, Cowan rushed from Ketchum, Idaho, where she had been on a trekking holiday, to Taos.
‘Needless to say, we have a huge hole in our hearts right now. We knew our Kylie made a big impact on those around her, but I don’t think we could have fathomed how many people truly loved and cherished her,’ the bereaved mother wrote.
‘There will be several services and memorials, but her closest friends would want to come to the church service in her home town. We are tentatively scheduling that for Wednesday the 11th at 2:00 at First Baptist Wylie.
‘There will be many opportunities to honor Kylie in a musical venue as well, so we’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on that. Please know that we’ve never been a big fan of GoFundMe pages, but I believe there will be several benefits for Kylie’s precious 6-year-old daughter, Corbie, as Kylie, like most musicians, did not have assets or life insurance.
‘Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the 16-year-old girl who also died on the scene of the accident last night in Taos.’
The Texas native had been driving a festival in the New Mexico town where she was scheduled to perform when the crash occurred.
Hours before the crash, Harris tweeted she was almost out of fuel and 36 miles from the nearest gas station.
‘Dear baby Jesus please don’t let me get stranded in NM,’ she tweeted.
She also shared a haunting final Instagram story describing how many of her relatives had died in the exact area she was driving through.
‘I love this festival, for those of you who don’t know…my grandparents lived here, my uncle still lives here, but literally everybody that was here has passed away except from my uncle and including my dad and I’m going to cry, driving these roads,’ she said in the video post.
Harris’s father died of cancer aged 54 in Taos.
‘You would think, I’ve been driving for almost 12 hours, you’d think that’s so exhausting and boring but the last couple of hours just driving through the mountains, remembering my place in the backseat as a little kid when my dad was making these treks here it was the f*****g best,’ she added.
Harris leaves behind a six-year-old daughter, Corbie Rae Watkins. Fans, friends and family have already donated more than $26,000 to a GoFundMe page raising funds for the singer’s funeral and Corbie’s college fund.
One of the country artist’s songs has become particularly tragic and poignant in the wake of her death.
Twenty Years From Now, written for her daughter, was released earlier this year, in which she sings,’God I hope I’m still around. Twenty years from now.’
Explaining the track in an interview with Billboard magazine in March, Harris said: ‘It scared me thinking that it was totally possible I could be gone before my daughter reaches that point… I want to meet my kid’s kids.
‘Getting to the age your parents were when you were a child brings a whole lot of perspective.’
Harris said she wrote the song four years ago after a road trip with her daughter to visit the girl’s estranged father, Jeremy Joe Watkins, who lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
‘I held my feelings together for most of the drive, but once I saw that little baby asleep in the backseat I pulled over and bawled my eyes out. I had no clue what I was doing, but I knew that I loved her fiercely, and prayed that one day she would come to her own conclusions about everything and see that I did the best that I knew how to,’ Harris told the magazine.
The former couple appear to have a fractious relationship, after Harris filed for a child support order in December 2018 according to court records.
Legal filings also show a case involving the custody of the six-year-old, where court documents sent to Watkins in Oklahoma were returned undelivered.
Harris had a troubled history with law enforcement, being charged in 2009 of assault with a deadly weapon which led to her being placed on probation for three years.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Josh Boswell and Emily Crane