Fans are in mourning today after news broke that American Idol season 2 finalist Rickey Smith was killed early Friday morning by a drunk driver.
According to Daily Mail, Smith was killed in a multi-car highway crash in Oklahoma at around 3am on Friday morning. The crash occurred on I-240, where the 36 year-old singer was driving an Accord. A drunk driver driving the wrong way tragically slammed into his vehicle head-on.
The driver has been identified as 27 year-old Gerardo Cerda Jr., who survived and was transferred to the local hospital. He has since been booked on drunk driving charges.
Smith competed on the second season of American Idol back in 2003, finishing in eighth place. After the show ended, he spent years in Los Angeles trying to launch a singing career.
“I almost had an album. I had some good people around me,” he told USA Today in 2008. “I wasn’t ready to accept the fact that I had to come back and give up music. I’ve made peace with it, but it’s still frustrating.”
Smith reportedly worked as a teacher after halting his music career.
“Suffice it to say my heart is truly breaking today,” tweeted Clay Aiken, who competed against Smith on American Idol. “Heaven’s choir has a new beautiful voice. I love you and will miss you, Rickey.”
Please keep Smith’s family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.