‘American Idol’ Finalist Rickey Smith Dies in Car Crash, Struck by Allegedly Drunk Truck Driver Going the Wrong Way

May 6, 2016 Updated: October 5, 2018

American Idol” finalist Rickey Smith died in a car accident on Friday when a truck driving wrong way struck him head on.

The crash happened on I-240 near Western in S. Oklahoma City, news9.com reported.

Smith, 36, finalist of the 2003 American Idol contest, died on scene.

The truck driver, Gerardo Cerda Jr., 27, of Oklahoma City, survived. After being treated at a hospital, he was placed in custody in Oklahoma County Jail for driving under influence.

Smith finished 8th on the second season of “American Idol.”

“Music is something that I love to do,” he said in his goodbye video on the show. “This is just like the dream come true and I just want to make sure that nothing holds me back and I do the best that I can.”

Smith is the second “American Idol” finalist to die, after seventh season finalist Michael Johns died in 2014.

Smith died just four days before his 37th birthday.


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