Kylie Rae Harris was trying to overcome a very difficult past at the time of a fatal car crash that authorities say she caused. The 30-year-old singer confessed in January of 2019 that she was happy to be getting past some "self-inflicted" troubles from her twenties as she entered a new decade.

Harries died on Wednesday (Sept. 4) in an accident on State Road 522 in Taos, N.M. Investigators say the Chevrolet Equinox she was driving clipped a Chevrolet Avalanche from behind, diverting Harris into the oncoming lane of traffic. The singer struck head-on with a white 2008 Jeep driven by 16-year-old Maria Elena Cruz. Both Harris and Cruz were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Avalanche escaped injury.

Authorities believe speed and alcohol both played a role in the crash, according to Taos News. A toxicology report is pending, but Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe blamed Harris for the accident.

"At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris," he tells Taos News. Neither Sheriff Hogrefe nor the Taos Police Department have responded to Taste of Country's requests for clarification.

Harris released her final musical collection, a self-titled EP, in March. Many of the songs center around a common theme of leaving the past behind and moving forward, and in the press release for the project, the Texas-based singer-songwriter said she was looking forward to better days.

“My twenties weren’t a walk in the park, a lot of that admittedly self-inflicted, but I grew a lot,” she said. “This project feels like the close of a real painful chapter and a welcome to whatever is next.”

She admitted that part of her past troubles revolved around making bad choices involving the men in her life. Taste of Country premiered a song from the EP titled "Big Ol' Heartache" in January, and Harris said she had written the song based on her own painful experience.

"I have a type. My step-dad says my type doesn't work. He's not wrong," she told us. "Honestly, that's what this song's about. Fall for the bad boy, no surprise it doesn't work out, but I continue to do it again. And again. And again. Some fools never learn."

Harris' Facebook page reveals that she "spent a year in an abusive relationship that ended with her in trouble with the law" after high school, during "a dark period where she alienated nearly everyone important to her." Public records show that Harris was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in May of 2009. She was given deferred adjudication, which is a form of probation allowing a plea of guilty or no contest to be stricken from her record after completing the terms of her probation agreement. Harris' charges were dismissed on May 19, 2012.

Harris also had a DWI in 2017 in which her blood alcohol level exceeded .15, nearly twice the legal limit. She was subsequently ordered to have an ignition interlock installed in her vehicle.

Harris' mother, Betsy Cowan, tells People that alcohol was “something [Harris] struggled with on-and-off over the years."

Harris was a single mother, and she leaves behind a six-year-old daughter, Corbie. Another haunting song on her final EP, "Twenty Years From Now," addresses her daughter directly, hoping she'll eventually come to understand and forgive her mother's 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 sings on the track.

“Getting to the age your parents were when you were a child brings a whole lot of perspective,” Harris reflected. “Parents are people. People make mistakes and being a parent is hard. I’m not always going to make the right choices, but I hope that when my daughter gets older, she’ll see that they were all made with love and the best of intentions.”

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for Harris' funeral expenses and her daughter's college education. A separate GoFundMe page is raising money for Cruz' funeral expenses.

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