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. 

Court Documents Accuse Kobe Bryant And Other Passengers Of Being Negligent And Causing The Crash That Killed Them

Entertainment

Court Documents Accuse Kobe Bryant And Other Passengers Of Being Negligent And Causing The Crash That Killed Them

kobebryant / Twitter

This story is an update on an article published by Justin Lestner on January 27, 2020.

According to CNN, the brother of the pilot in the helicopter crash that killed nine people on board, including NBA great Kobe Bryant and his daughter, has accused the deceased passengers of being at fault and of negligence.

Berge Zobayan, who is listed as the successor of the pilot Ara Zobayan, his brother, filed papers accusing the passengers of being at fault for their own deaths.

“Attorneys for Berge Zobayan, listed as successor in interest for pilot Ara Zobayan, allege ‘any injuries or damages to plaintiffs and/or their decedent was directly caused in full or in part by the negligence or fault of plaintiffs and/or their decedent,'” according to CNN.

Zobayan’s claim comes as a response to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Vanessa Bryant and also underlines that the passengers were aware of the risks involved in flying.

Bryant’s complaint, which was issued on the day of the memorial service for her late husband and daughter Gigi Bryant accused Island Express, the helicopter company, and Ara Zobayan responsible for the crash.

Death of the 41-year-old basketball legend shook communities around the world.

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News broke in late January that the 41-year-old had died, along with nine others, in a tragic helicopter crash in the hills outside of Los Angeles. The identity of all aboard are still undisclosed at this time, pending further investigation and conversation with next of kin, according to an LA County Sheriff at a press briefing earlier today.

Bryant is survived by his wife Vanessa Bryant, and three other daughters – Natalia Diamante, Bianka Bella, and Capri Kobe, who is only 7 months old.

While it was unclear who else was with Bryant at the time of his death, TMZ Sports confirmed that his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna Maria Onore, was one of the passengers who died in the accident. Gianna and Kobe were on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks.

Preliminary investigations report that the helicopter went down in dense fog that had grounded most other aircraft in the region.

Credit: Mark Terrill / Getty

Bryant was known to use his helicopter to commute between his home in Newport Beach and the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. However, for this journey, he was commuting to a sports academy in the Valley.

Los Angeles is known for dense fog and this Sunday morning was no different. In fact, the dense fog had led to the temporary suspension of flights from LAX and most other civilian helicopter operations.

As news of the star’s death spread, so too did the heartfelt messages of loss and grief.

Credit: ABC 7 LA

“[This] is why I don’t wait for tomorrow,” J Balvin wrote. “So many surprises in life that the present escapes us.” Dozens of others weighed in as well.

AOC sent her condolences to the victims and their families in a tweet saying: “Deeply shocked at the news of Kobe Bryant and four others lost today. Sending all my thoughts to their families and loved ones in this devastating moment.“

Bad Bunny had a special message about the super star’s untimely passing.

Credit: BadBunnyPR / Instagram

“I never would have imagined this would hurt so much!” he said. “I still remember the first time I saw a game of basketball at 7 years old with my dad, and it was a game with this genius, and from that day forward he became my favorite player x100pre!! I’ve never mentioned it because it doesn’t necessarily have to do with music, but this man has been an inspiration in many aspects for me to be who I am today. RIP GOAT!!! Rest in PEACE!!!! Thank you for inspiring me so much!! Thanks for so many emotions!!! How sad I feel!!! A legend is gone!! Along with a beautiful child and basketball promise, Gianna… It breaks my soul too know that I was going to meet, and share time, with you soon…”

And Anuel AA shared his take on the tragedy, one that many people could relate to.

“Wow, my hero died,” he said. “This is unbelievable. I’m here crying as if I knew him, heartbroken. Rest in peace, legend, you left a mark on the world. May God continue blessing his family and fill them with strength. Wow what sadness. [Kobe Bryant] your name will live forever.”

Kobe Bryant shared a special kinship with his Latino fans, who he said were the first to embrace him.

Credit: KobeBryant / Instagram

As the tributes pour in, many are remembering the impact Kobe had on LA’s Latino community.

A few years ago, he thanked the Latino community for their support.

“Latino fans are important to me, because when I arrived [in Los Angeles] they were the fans who most passionately embraced me,” he said. Bryant added that his Spanish was “not that good,” but this appeared to have been a modest assessment, as he routinely conducted full-length interviews in Spanish, which endeared him even more to Latino fans. He said that he was inspired to learn the language because of his wife and because his Latino fans “mean everything” to him. He told Univision in a separate interview that he learned Spanish through watching telenovelas with his family.

However, Bryant’s story wasn’t one without its blemishes. He was accused of sexual assault in 2003.

Credit: Jerome Nakagawa / Flickr

Bryant’s sexual assault case was another scandal that rocked the sport’s world and his own image. The charges brought against him were serious. He was accused of raping a hotel employee while at a Colorado resort – a claim that he denied saying the sexual encounter was consensual. The case was eventually settled out of court, according to The Guardian.

As much of the world is still in shock regarding the untimely loss of such an iconic man, his success as a basketball great will live on.

ER Doctor Who Recovered From Covid-19 And Went Back To Treating Patients Dies By Suicide

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ER Doctor Who Recovered From Covid-19 And Went Back To Treating Patients Dies By Suicide

CNN/Twitter, People/Twitter

Trigger warning:  The content in this article might include graphic references to self-harm and suicide that might be upsetting for some.

Get help: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the United States: 1-800-273-8255. Contact  International Association for Suicide Prevention and Befrienders Worldwide for crisis center information throughout the world.

There’s no denying that the current health crisis has presented an excess of stress for people worldwide. Unemployment rates are at supreme highs, death rates are at unprecedented extremes, and every day people are living in fear for the health and lives of their loved ones and themselves. No doubt, healthcare workers on the frontlines of combatting the virus have it particularly difficult. Not only are they being exposed to the virus at every turn, they are also seeing a mass increase in death amongst their patients.

No one truly knows why someone could be driven to taking their own life, but for a recently deceased New York City emergency room doctor, the stresses around Covid-19 could certainly have played a factor.

Dr. Lorna Breen, 49, had recovered from Covid-19 and continued to treat coronavirus patients before her death.

According to an interview with the late doctor’s father Philip Breen she was at the frontlines of the current pandemic and a hero.

“Lorna Breen died Sunday morning by suicide in Charlottesville, Virginia,” her father told CNN. “She went down in the trenches and was killed by the enemy on the front line. She loved New York and wouldn’t hear about living anywhere else. She loved her coworkers and did what she could for them.” 

“I just want people to know how special she was,” her father added.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, health care workers battling a mental health crisis as well.

According Lorna’s father, the doctor had told him that she and colleagues clocked 18-hour workdays. They slept in hallways and were extremely overloaded with work. The doctor contracted COVID-19 and took sick leave from work for a week and a half to recover. Eventually, she returned back to work but, according to her father, could not last through a 12-hour shift but was compelled to help anyway. At some point, a friend of Breen’s, who is also a doctor, visited her at her home and encouraged her to visit Virginia where she could be amongst her family and friends.

Soon after she’d arrived she was admitted to the University of Virginia Hospital for exhaustion.

After a week at the hospital, Lorna Breen left to stay with her mother. Last weekend, she went to visit and stay with her sister. During her visit, she died. According to CNN, “Officers responded Sunday to a call for medical assistance and identified the victim as Breen, the Charlottesville Police Department said in a news release.

She was brought to the University of Virginia Hospital once more, and “later succumbed to self-inflicted injuries.”