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Former American Idol finalist Rickey E. Smith Jr. was killed Friday morning in a car crash in Oklahoma, Variety reported. The singer was 36.

According to the entertainment news site, Smith was involved in a multi-car pile up at 3:05am on a Oklahoma City highway. Smith’s car was hit head on by a driver who was going the wrong direction. The singer died on the scene as a result of multiple blunt force injuries. The driver who caused the crash, Gerardo Cerda Jr., was hospitalized and charged with DUI, Variety noted. 

Smith was a contestant on the second season of the popular FOX singing competition, coming in 8th place. The winner of that season, Ruben Studdard, left this message on his Instagram page on Friday.

American Idol family members and others took to Twitter to express their sadness.

We are sending the Smith family our deepest condolences.


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RIP: Season Two ‘American Idol’ Alum Killed By Drunk Driver In Car Accident  was originally published on