Former ‘American Idol’ Contestant Charged with DUI in Fatal Crash

Former “American Idol” contestant Caleb Kennedy was arrested Tuesday in South Carolina and accused of drunkenly crashing his car into a workshop and hitting the occupant, who later died, a report said.

Kennedy, 17, was charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death for the fatal crash in Spartanburg County, according to South Carolina’s WSPAA.

Kennedy allegedly ran off the road into a private driveway around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and slammed into a workshop behind a house, hitting 54-year-old Larry Duane Parris, according to the report.

Parris later died at a hospital, and the singer was treated for injuries following the deadly crash, which took place about 15 miles from the teen’s home, the article said.

Caleb Kennedy
Caleb Kennedy was a Top 5 contestant on “American Idol” but left after a social media scandal in 2020.

The country music singer was a Top 5 contestant on the reality contest but left after a social media scandal in 2020.

In a post on Snapchat, Kennedy appeared next to a person wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood. He left the show shortly after.

“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,” Kennedy announced on his Instagram. 

Caleb Kennedy car crash
Fire rescue arrived at the scene of the fatal car crash.

“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! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”

One comment

  • Well, Caleb did a jam up job earning the respec and support back of the folks he wrote to after the klu lux klan good escapade. Not being judgmental. Just stating a fact as one of those people who has watched him carefully since before American Idol, hoping he would have a great future.

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