Father of girl, 16, killed in car crash with Kylie Rae Harris was first responder at the scene

The EMT and firefighter father of the 16-year-old Texas girl who died in a car crash caused by country singer Kylie Rae Harris was the first responder at the accident scene, but had no idea that the victim he would be treating was his own daughter.  

Harris, 30, was killed in a three-car collision that also claimed the life of high school student Maria Cruz, 16, in Taos, New Mexico on September 4 at about 9pm. 

Maria was said to have been returning home from work the night when Harris, driving a black Chevrolet Equinox, clipped the back of a Chevrolet Avalanche and veered into the northbound lane, striking Maria’s white Jeep head on. 

Maria Cruz, 16 (pictured), was killed when country singer Kylie Rae Harris, 30, struck her car in a head-on collision. Maria's father, a firefighter and EMT, was a first responder at the scene

Maria Cruz, 16 (pictured), was killed when country singer Kylie Rae Harris, 30, struck her car in a head-on collision. Maria's father, a firefighter and EMT, was a first responder at the scene

Maria Cruz, 16 (pictured), was killed when country singer Kylie Rae Harris, 30, struck her car in a head-on collision. Maria’s father, a firefighter and EMT, was a first responder at the scene

Maria's father, Pedro Cruz, had no idea that the crash caused by Harris (pictured) involved his own daughter. Harris was driving to a music festival in Taos, New Mexico, during the incident

Maria's father, Pedro Cruz, had no idea that the crash caused by Harris (pictured) involved his own daughter. Harris was driving to a music festival in Taos, New Mexico, during the incident

Maria’s father, Pedro Cruz, had no idea that the crash caused by Harris (pictured) involved his own daughter. Harris was driving to a music festival in Taos, New Mexico, during the incident

Maria’s father, Pedro Cruz, a volunteer deputy fire chief for San Cristobal Fire, responded to the crash scene, without knowing that his daughter was one of the people involved. 

Pedro is ‘also an EMT, so he’s no stranger to going out on calls both medical, crashes and other things, but very traumatic for him to not know but to respond anyway and then find it was his family member,’ Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told KRQE

Both Harris and Maria were wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. They died at the scene. The third driver escaped uninjured and has not been identified.      

Hogrefe told Taos News on Friday that he could say ‘with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris.’    

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. 

Maria was driving home from work at the time of the incident

Maria was driving home from work at the time of the incident

Harris was said to have clipped the back of another car and then veered into the northbound lane, striking Maria's (pictured) Jeep head on

Harris was said to have clipped the back of another car and then veered into the northbound lane, striking Maria's (pictured) Jeep head on

Maria (pictured) was driving home from work when Harris, driving a black Chevrolet Equinox, clipped the back of a Chevrolet Avalanche and veered into the northbound lane, striking Maria’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. Maria (left) was a local high school student

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. Maria (left) was a local high school student

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. Maria (left) was a local high school student

The country singer, who leaves behind six-year-old daughter Corbie (pictured) had a history of drunk driving and speeding, DailyMail.com has learned

The country singer, who leaves behind six-year-old daughter Corbie (pictured) had a history of drunk driving and speeding, DailyMail.com has learned

The country singer, who leaves behind six-year-old daughter Corbie (pictured) had a history of drunk driving and speeding, DailyMail.com has learned 

Sheriffs released this photograph of the crash scene afterwards. Police said Harris struck Maria's white jeep (pictured) head on. Both Harris and Maria were wearing seatbelts

Sheriffs released this photograph of the crash scene afterwards. Police said Harris struck Maria's white jeep (pictured) head on. Both Harris and Maria were wearing seatbelts

Sheriffs released this photograph of the crash scene afterwards. Police said Harris struck Maria’s white jeep (pictured) head on. Both Harris and Maria were wearing seatbelts 

Harris' Chevrolet Equinox pictured after the car crash. The driver of the car that Harris clipped was uninjured in the incident.

Harris' Chevrolet Equinox pictured after the car crash. The driver of the car that Harris clipped was uninjured in the incident.

Harris’ Chevrolet Equinox pictured after the car crash. The driver of the car that Harris clipped was uninjured in the incident. 

In 2014, Harris was also fined $302 for speeding after she was caught driving 81mph in a 60mph zone in Dallas.     

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 had also been set up to help the family with funeral costs. 

‘Maria was an innocent girl and was gone too soon. A drunk driver took her life and took a piece of all of us,’ wrote Maria’s best friend in the fundraiser’s description.

The family has stopped taking donations as they are ‘satisfied with the amount and are thankful for what has been given.’ A total of $26,722 was donated before the GoFundMe was ended. 

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.

In an Instagram video hours before her death, she told fans how 'literally everyone' in her family died in Taos, New Mexico

In an Instagram video hours before her death, she told fans how 'literally everyone' in her family died in Taos, New Mexico

In an Instagram video hours before her death, she told fans how ‘literally everyone’ in her family died in Taos, New Mexico 

The singer shared an Instagram story saying she was running out of gas

The singer shared an Instagram story saying she was running out of gas

After filling up, she updated fans

After filling up, she updated fans

Hours before the crash, Harris tweeted she was almost out of fuel and 36 miles from the nearest gas station. She also shared a haunting final Instagram story describing how many of her relatives had died in the exact area she was driving through 

Not long before the crash, Harris tweeted that she was running out of gas. She later said she had been able to fill up in an Instagram story

Not long before the crash, Harris tweeted that she was running out of gas. She later said she had been able to fill up in an Instagram story

Not long before the crash, Harris tweeted that she was running out of gas. She later said she had been able to fill up in an Instagram story

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. 

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

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

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's mother, Betsy Cowan, a 56-year-old realtor, released a statement on her Facebook on Thursday, announcing a church memorial service next week

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

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

Harris leaves behind six-year-old daughter Corbie

Harris leaves behind six-year-old daughter Corbie

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money for the young girl's college fund

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money for the young girl's college fund

Harris leaves behind six-year-old daughter Corbie. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to raise money for the young girl’s college fund

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. 

 

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