Seventeen-year-old Caleb Kennedy, who was booted off season 19 of “American Idol” over a controversial video last spring, was charged with felony DUI that resulted in a death.
Kennedy was arrested in South Carolina for allegedly drunkenly driving his truck into a building and killing a man on Tuesday afternoon.
“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,” a state trooper confirmed. “A person inside the building sustained fatal injury as a result of the collision.”
South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash that took the life of Larry Duane Parris, 54, who died three hours later at the hospital.
Kennedy was a front runner on “American Idol” last year, making it all the way to the top five, before getting kicked off the show. It wasn’t a poor performance that got him axed, but a controversial video shared on social media.
The country crooner appeared beside a friend who was wearing a hood reminiscent of those worn by members of the Ku Klux Klan. He announced his departure from the show in an Instagram statement
“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,” he wrote at the time.
“I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. 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!”
Kennedy said he would “pray” to regain the public’s trust one day, but getting smashed in the afternoon and killing an innocent bystander is only going to gain the public’s disdain.