Former "American Idol" contestant Caleb Kennedy was arrested on Tuesday and charged with felony for allegedly crashing his truck into a building and killing a man in South Carolina. Kennedy, 17, Kennedy, 17, was driving under the influence when the fatal crash happened in Spartanburg County, according to South Carolina's WSPAA.
The victim, Larry Duane Parris, 54, was rushed to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead in the wake of the crash, Rusty Clevenger of the Spartanburg County Coroners Office told WYFF4. Kennedy was hospitalized after the crash and taken to a nearby hospital, Ridgeway told the station. He had competed on the reality singing show in 2020.
According to a police report, Kennedy allegedly went off the road onto a private driveway around 12:30 pm on Tuesday afternoon and slammed into a workshop behind a house, killing Parris. The singer, who was driving a 2011 Ford pick-up, was reportedly under the influence at the time of the accident.
The crash took place about 15 miles from the singer's home. Parris was rushed to a hospital where he later died, while Kennedy was treated for injuries following the deadly crash.
"A 2011 Ford pickup was traveling north on W. Murph Road when the vehicle traveled onto a private drive at 269 W. Murph Road and struck a building," Trooper Ridgeway told the People Magazine. "A person inside the building sustained fatal injury as a result of the collision."
"This crash remains under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. There will be no further updates at this time."
It is not known if Kennedy has been discharged as the accident remains under investigation. That said the country music singer had an eventful but not-so-memorable journey on "American Idol" in 2020.
Kennedy broke into the Top 5 contestant on the reality contest but had to make an unceremonious exit after a social media scandal in 2020.
While on the show he made headlines after making a post on Snapchat, wherein he appeared next to a person wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. He withdrew from the show shortly after the racism scandal.
"Hey y'all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on American Idol. There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that's not an excuse," Kennedy announced on his Instagram.
Kennedy expressed regret for the series of incidents and stated that he wished to restore his reputation in the future. "I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down," he said.
'I'll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I'm so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me."
However, Kennedy's family and relative have since defended him by saying that the controversial video was taken four years ago when he was 12.