GILBERT, Ariz. (KSAZ) - Gilbert Police say an 18-year-old woman was killed in a crash on Friday at Queen Creek near Higley Road. She was a singer who had received praise and support from across the valley.
Officers say 18-year-old Keli Rutledge was driving in the area when her car collided with another vehicle at the intersection of Queen Creek Road and Higley at about 9;15 a.m., on Friday.
The singer was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead on Friday night. Police say the other driver, 26-year-old Emilio DeLeon, was also injured, but there is no information available about his condition.
Police say DeLeon is being investigated for possible impairment in the deadly crash.
Groups from across the Valley are expressing sorrow over her death, releasing statements about the loss of such a talented performer.
Statement from Songbird Coffee & Tea House:
"With heavy hearts we mourn the loss of a beautiful and talented woman who has graced Songbird with her music. We were looking forward to hosting Keli May Rutledge Music this month, but she has been taken from us too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. If you are an artist who played with Keli, please contact me about a benefit for Keli's family."
Statement from Davisson Entertainment:
"We have some sad new to share. One of the lovely singers that we were lucky enough to work with passed away last night in a tragic car accident. Keli May Rutledge Music was beautifully vibrant and we are honored that she shared her talent with us. We are deeply saddened by this loss. Our thoughts are with her family and friends and all the people she touched with her music."