Rickey Smith, ‘American Idol’ Finalist, Killed in Car Crash (Report)

Singer was killed when a pickup truck going the wrong way on the freeway struck his vehicle

Last Updated: May 6, 2016 @ 11:13 AM

Rickey Smith, a Season 2 finalist on “American Idol,” died early Friday morning in a car crash just outside of Oklahoma City, TMZ reports. He was 36.

According to KOCO 5, the crash occurred when a pickup truck traveling the wrong way on I-240 struck Smith’s Honda Accord shortly after 3 a.m. Friday. Smith died in the crash.

The driver of the pickup truck, 27-year-old Gerardo Cerda Jr., was hospitalized. Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers detected the smell of alcohol on Cerda, KOCO reports. A spokesman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol told TheWrap that officers are consulting with the district attorney to determine what kind of charges might be filed.

Smith competed in the 2003 season of “Idol,” facing off against rivals such as Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard. Studdard went on to win the season.

Aiken tweeted about the death Friday morning, saying “my heart is truly breaking.”

“Suffice it to say my heart is truly breaking today,” Aiken wrote. “Heaven’s choir has a new beautiful voice. I love you and will miss you, Rickey.”

Studdard offered his own tribute via Instagram.

“As I sit here in utter disbelief about the fact that you went to be with the Lord. I think back on all the fun times we had,” Studdard recalled. “How we set up for hours in our room in the Idol Mansion talking and listening to music. How much fun we all had on our very first tour. You were the heart of our season and the true definition of a real friend.”

TheWrap has reached out to Fox for comment.


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