Former ‘American Idol’ contestant Caleb Kennedy has been charged with drunk driving after a fatal accident in his home state of South Carolina.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway confirmed on Tuesday that the 17-year-old country singer was “charged with a driver’s incapacity” after breaking into a 2011 Ford pickup inside a building.
Someone in the building was fatally injured in the crash, Ridgeway said.
The incident, occurred around 12:41 p.m. on Tuesday. on a private road in Spartanburg County still under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
According to Ridgeway, the driver of the vehicle was taken to Spartanburg Medical Center. A second occupant of the building was also taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Kennedy began her “Idol” tour in October 2020 and eventually reached the top of the Top 5 before abruptly exiting the show after a controversial social media post resurfaced online. In a Snapchat post, Kennedy was spotted next to someone wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style balaclava.
“Now when I’m home I try to be alone, but I’m also scared of someone taking a video of me going to the academy or Walmart. You have to take care of things like that now,” Kennedy told the Spartanburg Herald. u
Speaking about his time on the show, Kennedy admitted he felt little pressure to star on a popular show like Idol.
“You think it’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot, but it’s going to hit you very quickly. I wasn’t ready for that,” he said. “There’s no way to emotionally prepare for an ‘idol’. Because no one is ready for it, no matter how you prepare.”
However, he noted that despite the challenges, he has no regrets, adding, “I loved it.”
Last May, viewers were surprised when Kennedy didn’t appear on the show to star alongside the season’s top five contestants. Host Ryan Seacrest had little involvement in Kennedy’s absence from the air, saying early on in the show that the high schooler “will not continue the tournament.”
However, in a post-show virtual question-and-answer session, judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan offered their views on the dispute. “First and foremost, as judges and as a jury, we love and are emotionally involved with these children,” Bryan said. “We only want the best for Caleb and it’s going to be a very busy and exciting week.”