‘American Idol’ Contestant Haley Smith Dies in Motorcycle Crash, Reports Say

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
September 3, 2019 Updated: September 4, 2019

Former “American Idol” contestant Haley Smith, who made it far on the show, died in Maine over the weekend when she crashed her motorcycle.

TMZ reported on Smith’s death, saying she died in Millinocket in a single-vehicle accident. The entertainment news outlet cited her father Mike Smith for the details.

Police said Smith, 26, failed to make a sharp turn along a road before crashing. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, they said.

Mike Smith told the outlet that she was riding on a country road, and he suspects a deer may have led to the crash.

In 2012, she auditioned for “American Idol” Season 11 in Colorado, singing a rendition of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good” in front of judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and Randy Jackson.

“I love nature … I definitely love being outdoors. It’s where I feel the most at peace,” Smith said during a brief interview on the show, reported the New York Post.

The judges were impressed by her singing acumen and allowed her into the second round.

“I love your voice so much. You’re right out of my era and I am honored to be here listening to your voice,” Tyler told Smith.

Crashes in the US

Tens of thousands of people are killed and millions injured each year from motor vehicle crashes, according to the CDC. The CDC says these deaths cost more than $380 million in direct medical costs.

The major risk factors for crash deaths in the United States are: not using seat belts, car seats, and booster seats (factors in over 9,500 crash deaths); drunk driving (a factor in more than 10,000 crash deaths); and speeding (contributing to more than 9,500 crash deaths).

According to 2017 data from the CDC, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States were: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.
Epoch Times Photo
File photo of traffic on a highway. (Xan Griffin/Unsplash)

These further break down as follows: the most common are unintentional poisoning deaths (58,335), followed by motor vehicle traffic deaths (40,327), and unintentional fall deaths in third place (34,673).

The total number of emergency department visits for unintentional injuries in the United States in 2017 was 30.8 million, according to the CDC.

The 10 leading causes accounted for 74 percent of all deaths in the United States in 2017.

Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Senior Reporter
Jack Phillips is a reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.