Entertainment

Update: The Country Music Star Who Passed Away Yesterday Might Have Been Drunk Driving When She Fatally Hit A Latina Teen

News broke earlier today that a high school student was also killed in the fatal car crash that resulted in the death of country singer Kylie Rae Harris, 30. The three-vehicle crash, which happened on Wednesday night in Taos, New Mexico, resulted in the fatal death of the 16-year-old high school student named Maria Elena Cruz. 

Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene. Her father, San Cristobal Volunteer Fire Deputy Chief Pedro Cruz was among the first responders at the scene of the fatal car crash. 

“At this time I will say with most certainty that Miss Cruz was an innocent victim of this senseless crash caused by Ms. Harris,” said Taos Country Sherriff Jerry Hogrefe in a statement to TaosNews.com

According to PEOPLE magazine, Taos County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that “Harris, who was traveling south on State Road 522 in a black Chevrolet Equinox, struck a black Chevrolet Avalanche from behind, initially sending her vehicle into the northbound traffic lane. Harris’ vehicle then collided head-on with Cruz’s white 2008 Jeep which was traveling north on SR 522 at the time.” 

Both drivers were also pronounced dead at the scene and PEOPLE reports that authorities said speeding appears to be one of the reasons for the fatal car crash. According to Daily Mail, police said alcohol was also a factor in the fatal accident although they have not yet revealed which driver had been drinking. The third driver “escaped uninjured and has not been identified.” Investigators are waiting for the results of a pending toxicology report to determine the alcohol levels of those involved. 

In an exclusive report by Daily Mail, it was revealed that country singer Harris had multiple citations for drunk driving and speeding as well. She had a court-ordered breathalyzer installed in her car, so there is speculation as to who used the breathalyzer in order to start the car and/or keep driving. Court records obtained by Daily Mail also show that she was convicted in June 2017 of driving while intoxicated and that she was fined over $400 for the offense. Years prior, in 2014, Daily Mail also reveals that she was fined another $302 for speeding in Dallas, Texas. 

The Taos community in New Mexico is mourning the loss of the high school teenager, Maria Elena Cruz. She was a Taos High School sophomore from San Cristóbal and the daughter of a deputy chief that responded to the crash. 

Students and faculty from the high school are also in shock.

Taos County Fire Chief Mike Cordova told TaosNews.com in an email that Deputy Chief Pedro Cruz and his family are “reeling” and “at home mourning her loss.” He also said that they’re asking for people and the community to give the family some time and space for the next couple of days. 

However, if community members want to help the family financially then they can drop off donations at the Taos County Fire and EMS office. More information on that here. The Taos community also planned a dinner to raise funds to help the Cruz family with funeral costs on Friday, September 6 at the San Cristóbal Community Center. You can donate to Maria Elena Cruz’s GoFundMe here, to help her family pay for funeral costs. 

According to one of her former teachers, Maria Elena Cruz was “beautiful, intelligent, kind, hard-working, and inspirational. Her tragic death has impacted many young lives, former teachers, her beloved parents, and little sister.”

Kylie Rae Harris’s mother, Betsy Cowan, released a statement on her Facebook on Thursday, announcing the church memorial service planned for next week.

“Needless to say, we have a huge hole in our hearts right now. We know 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,” her mother wrote in the same Facebook post according to Daily Mail. 

Her memorial service is planned for Wednesday, September 11, in her home town. There are also a couple of donation pages going around to raise benefits for the singer’s daughter and her family. 

Harris’s mother also wrote, “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.”  

Before the fatal crash, the country singer posted an emotional Instagram video telling fans about how “literally everyone” in her family had died in Taos, New Mexico. She also tweeted hours before the crash saying that she was driving and almost out of fuel. The singer was scheduled to perform in a festival in New Mexico, where the crash occurred.  

Kylie Rae Harris leaves behind her six-year-old daughter Corbie. 

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Family Of Man Who Died From Taco Eating Contest Sue Fresno Grizzlies Owner

Entertainment

Family Of Man Who Died From Taco Eating Contest Sue Fresno Grizzlies Owner

Dana Hutchings, 41, entered a taco eating contest during a Fresno Grizzlies game in 2019. He choked and died during the contest and now his son has filed a lawsuit against the baseball team.

The son of a man who died from a taco eating contest is suing for wrongful death.

Dana Hutchings, 41, died after choking during a taco eating contest during a Fresno Grizzlies game. His son has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that the event organizers were not equipped to host the event. Furthermore, the lawsuit claims that the organizers failed to provide a medical response team.

“People say all the time he knew what he was getting into, well clearly he didn’t,” Martin Taleisnik, an attorney representing Hutchings’ son, Marshall told CBS17.

Marshall and his attorney are pushing back at the notion that Dana should have known better.

People have sounded off on social media criticizing the family for filing the lawsuit. Yet, the family and their attorney are calling attention to the lack of information given to contestants.

“If you don’t know all the pitfalls, how can you truly be consenting and participating freely and voluntarily? It’s a risk that resulted in a major loss to Marshall,” Taleisnik told CBS17.

Dana’s family is seeking a monetary settlement from the Fresno Grizzlies owners.

The wrongful death lawsuit names Fresno Sports and Events as the responsible party. The lawsuit also notes that alcohol was made available to contestants and added to the likelihood of the tragedy.

“We are devastated to learn that the fan that received medical attention following an event at Tuesday evening’s game has passed away. The Fresno Grizzlies extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to the family of Mr. Hutchings,” a statement from the Fresno Grizzlies read after the death in 2019. “The safety and security of our fans is our highest priority. We will work closely with local authorities and provide any helpful information that is requested.”

READ: Kobe Bryant’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Has Tragically Been Moved To Federal Court Despite Vanessa Bryant’s Pleas

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Authorities Finally File Charges Against Teen Who Killed Monique Muñoz, Her Family Hopes He’s Tried As an Adult

Things That Matter

Authorities Finally File Charges Against Teen Who Killed Monique Muñoz, Her Family Hopes He’s Tried As an Adult

Credit: chulothelabel/Instagram
UPDATED: April 8th, 2021

Finally, Monique Muñoz’s family is getting closer to seeing justice. After over a month of rallying, gathering, and mourning, Muñoz’s family is finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office announced that they had officially filed charges against the 17-year-old responsible for the deadly crash that killed Muñoz.

The charges against the unnamed teen came over a month after the fatal crash on February 17th. Because the teen is a juvenile, authorities are not releasing any more information detailing the specifics of the charges. Authorities originally arrested the teen on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

Per ABC News, the teen’s arraignment is set for April 23rd. Up until this point, authorities never contacted Munoz’s family directly. The family was angry and frustrated at authorities for keeping them in the dark.

While it is progress that Los Angeles’s DA has finally charged the teen, the family wishes that authorities would try the 17-year-old as an adult.

“You’re a 17-year-old, driving an adult car, acting like an adult…you should be tried as an adult,” Munoz’s stepfather, Isaac Cardona, said to Good Morning America.

“[The DA] is really lenient on certain crimes, certain criminals, especially juveniles,” said Cardona to ABC 7. “And I’m like, you act like an adult you get treated like one.”

The unnamed teen was driving a Lamborghini Urus when he crashed into Munoz, who was making a left turn.

Photo via LAPD West Traffic

The Lamborghini Urus retails for $218,000. It can go 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds. Some experts estimate that the juvenile was going up to double the 35 mph speed limit in order to incur as much damage as he did.

Here’s to hoping that Los Angeles authorities will do the right thing in enacting justice for Monique Munoz and her family.

ORIGINAL BELOW: March 18th, 2021

Over the weekend, family and friends of Monique Muñoz, as well as members of the Los Angeles community, gathered to mourn the life of a young woman taking from this planet too soon.

The gathering of people became a memorial parade, with supporters showing up in classic cars or on foot. People were holding up signs that read: “Justice for Monique Muñoz” and “Olympic Blvd is NOT a race track”.

Muñoz’s family say they will gather at the site of Monique Muñoz’s death every weekend until the family sees justice.

As background, a 17-year-old driver killed 32-year-old Monique Muñoz while he was speeding in a Lamborghini in the Los Angeles streets. The teen was the son of a Beverly Hills millionaire James Khuri who gifted him the Lamborghini for his birthday.

In the aftermath of Muñoz’s death, James Khuri flooded his social media pages with insensitive pictures of himself looking happy and carefree while Muñoz’s family was grieving. After receiving a flood of negative comments condemning his insensitive behavior, Khuri simply turned off his comments

District Attorney George Gascón has not confirmed that he has brought charges against the teen. Muñoz’s family worried that Khuri would sweep Monique’s death “under the rug”.

While her family waited for justice, some savvy internet believed that James Khuri hired PR and marketing teams to bury negative articles about his son.

But Khuri didn’t get away with his attempts to control the press around his son’s involvement in M’s death. The internet rallied around Muñoz’s family, and soon the hashtag #JusticeForMoniqueMuñoz was trending.

Now, Muñoz’s family is focused on one goal. They want justice for their daughter.

“We have purpose. We have a direction. We have this responsibility to Monique to give her a voice, to speak for her, to give her justice and to just show her that we’re here for her,” said Stephanie Crespin, the victim’s cousin to ABC 7.

District Attorney George Gascón released the following statement to Inside Edition: “Monique’s death is a giant loss for her family, our community, and for all of us as Angelenos. This case was recently presented to our office and is under review. Juvenile court proceedings, records, and case files are confidential pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code section 827. As such, we are unable to provide further information at this time.”

As for the belated apology that James Khuri wrote on his Instagram at the height of the backlash, Muñoz’s family says they see right through it.

“I’ve seen the interview of the father trying to apologize and give me his sympathy, but no, that’s too fake,” Carol Cardona told L.A. Taco. “He has yet to say anything to me, to us. If he were really sorry, he would have reached out when it all happened.”

And although Khuri’s lawyer previously claimed that Muñoz’s family was in the process of coming to a financial settlement with the Khuris, Carol Cardona put that rumor to rest.

Muñoz’s mother said that the family was not in the process of settling financially with the Khuri family.

“My daughter was killed, she was my everything, she was my best friend, and now she’s gone. Instead of planning her future wedding, I had to plan a funeral for her,” she said. “So no, no amount of money is going to bring my baby back.”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com