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. 

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Quino, Cartoonist And Creator Of Mafalda Comics, Dies At 88

Culture

Quino, Cartoonist And Creator Of Mafalda Comics, Dies At 88

Juan Mabromata / AFP via Getty Images

Mafalda is one of the most iconic cartoon characters for millions of Latinos around the world. The little girl highlighted the social inequities and pitfalls of dictatorships and authoritarian governments. Quino, the man who created Mafalda, died Sept. 30 at 88.

Joaquín “Quino” Salvador Lavado, famed cartoonist who created Mafalda, died at 88.

The world was first introduced to Mafalda in September 1964 in Primera Plana in Argentina. Soon after, the comic strip went global with readers on three other continents. The world fell in love with the young girl’s strong political statements.

Comic fans are mourning the death of Quino.

Lavado created the Mafalda comic strips from 1964 until 1973 being critical of dictatorships around the world, including in Argentina. The cartoonist stopped creating the Mafalda comic strips when the coup d’etat installed Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Three years later, the cartoonist fled to Spain to avoid being killed during the military dictatorship in Argentina.

Mafalda was a cultural icon that touched people from different walks of life.

At its height, Mafalda was being printed in 26 different languages for millions of readers around the world. Mafalda took complex and real issues facing the world and boiled them down into bite size moments people were able to understand by bringing it down to a child’s pure level.

“However, even if Mafalda is dissentient and rebellious, she is still a child, this is why she does not abandon the world to its fate, but she speaks with it and nurses it putting even plasters on its wounds if necessary,” reads part of Mafalda’s bio on Quino’s official website. “She invites it to improve, she exhorts it to resist, she makes it promise her that it would be still there when, as an adult, she’ll be an interpreter at the UN.”

Many in the English-speaking world do not know or know very little of Mafalda.

The Argentinian cartoon found wild success in Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Quebec. Fans are sending their condolences through social media giving Mafalda and her quick wit and political prowess a time to shine.

Mafalda got people interested in the way the world and its governments work.

The young girl was always very politically active and interested. Her dreams and her zingers always went back to the heart of the issues the world was talking about. Mafalda influenced generations of young Latinas into being politically engaged and involved because of her involvement.

It’s hard not to honor Mafalda and her undying will to move the world forward.

When Mafalda speaks, she has a way of letting people feel like they have been seen. She is not afraid to speak up on the things she sees and doesn’t like. She is not afraid to be the one to voice the opinion everyone else is thinking.

Rest in peace, Quino.

You work will forever guide people through this world with intention and purpose. Thank you for giving us someone to see ourselves in.

READ: Here’s Why You Should Be Familiar With Mafalda, One Of The Best Latino Cartoons Of All Time

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Alleged DUI Driver Kills A Pregnant Latina

Entertainment

Alleged DUI Driver Kills A Pregnant Latina

Joe Raedle / Getty

Twenty-three-year-old Yesenia Lisette Aguilar was preparing to welcome a new life into her life with her husband this year. Last week she was killed by an alleged drunk driver while the couple was walking down a sidewalk in Anaheim, California.

Aguilar and her husband James Alvarez were walking in Anaheim last week when she was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

A Jeep SUV driven by Courtney Pandolfi, aged 40, jumped the curb of a sidewalk and drove along it before hitting Aguilar. The car narrowly missed James who said that when his wife was struck they were holding hands. At the time of her death worked as a cast member at Disneyland and was nearly 35 weeks pregnant.

Soon after the incident, Aguilar was rushed to the hospital at UCI Medical Center. There, doctors declared her dead and then delivered her baby via cesarean section. Currently, Aguilar’s newborn baby girl, Adalyn Rose, is in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. She is in critical condition.

Speaking about his wife’s tragic death, Alvarez told KTLA, “It’s like I’m living a nightmare and I’m hoping to wake up soon. But I’m accepting the reality is she’s gone. And my daughter is the only thing that I have left.”

Pandolfi has been detained on single counts of vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license.

Pandolfi was also taken to the same hospital but for minor injuries.

Soon after her detainment, Pandolfi’s charges were upgraded to murder and felony driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury. According to People, police confirmed that this is not Pandolfi’s first DUI arrest. She has previously been convicted of DUIs in 2008, 2015, and 2016. She is currently being held in Anaheim on a $1 million bail.

Speaking about his wife, Alvarez shared that their newborn had very much been wanted by his wife.

“We’ve been trying for two years, and finally, we’re blessed to have a beautiful princess, and we’re a month away from her birth. And all of a sudden, out of a second, my life changed,” he said. “I’m just praying that she is healthy. She’s the last thing I have from her.”

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