‘American Idol’ Singer Caleb Kennedy Charged With Felony DUI After Fatal Crash
Former American Idol contestant Caleb Kenedy has been charged with felony DUI after a crash that killed a man in South Carolina.
People reports that the 17-year-old singer, who competed on American Idol in 2021, has been charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death after crashing his truck into a building in Spartanburg at 12.42PM on Tuesday (Feb. 8).
"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," Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway of the South Carolina Highway Patrol tells People. "A person inside the building sustained fatal injury as a result of the collision."
"The driver is identified as Caleb Andrew Kennedy, 17-year-old male from Roebuck, South Carolina," Trooper Ridgeway confirms. "This crash remains under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. There will be no further updates at this time."
The man inside the building has been identified as 54-year-old Larry Duane Parris. He was pronounced dead at a hospital three hours after the crash took place.
Kennedy's mother and manager, Anita Guy, had not responded to People's request for comment by the time of publication. Kennedy remained in police custody as of Tuesday night.
Kennedy had a successful run as a country singer on American Idol in 2021 that was highlighted by several standout performances, including his audition with an original song titled "Nowhere." He also offered up covers of Willie Nelson and Chris Stapleton songs, and he got the chance to perform "Fly Over States" with Jason Aldean.
"The most promising thing about you, Caleb, is you sound like you,” judge Luke Bryan told him after that performance.
Kennedy was a favorite on Idol heading into the Top 5 episode in May, but he exited the show abruptly after a video surfaced online showing him as a pre-teen sitting next to someone in a hood similar to those worn by Ku Klux Klan members. Though Kennedy and his mother denied the video had anything to do with the KKK, Kennedy took ownership on his official social media pages, apologizing to those he let down and thanking those who had supported him.
"I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that's not an excuse," he wrote.
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