Former American Idol star Caleb Kennedy charged in fatal DUI crash

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Former American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy has been charged with felony driving under the influence. The crash resulted in a 54-year-old man dying

Former American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy has been charged with felony driving under the influence which resulted in a man’s death in in South Carolina on Tuesday.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway said the singer, 17, had been driving a vehicle which crashed into a private driveway and hit a residential building.

Speaking to PEOPLE, he said: “A 2011 Ford pickup was traveling north on W. Murph Road when the vehicle traveled onto a private drive at 269 W. Murph Road and struck a building.

“A person inside the building sustained fatal injury as a result of the collision.”

He continued: “The driver is identified as Caleb Andrew Kennedy, 17-year-old male from Roebuck, South Carolina. This crash remains under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol. There will be no further updates at this time.”

It’s been confirmed that Larry Duane Parris, 54, who was inside the building at the time of the crash, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital shortly after.

Ridgeway also confirmed that Kennedy himself was injured in the crash and was treated in hospital.

PEOPLE reports that the singer is currently still behind bars.

Kennedy rose to fame in 2021 after he advanced to the Top 5 on American Idol.

However, he left the show under a cloud of controversy after a video surfaced of him hanging out with a friend who was wearing a hood similar to the ones worn by the Klu Klux Klan.

It was reportedly shot four years prior.

In May last year he took to Instagram to say: “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.”

He went on to apologise for his actions and said he wanted to redeem his reputation.

“I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down,” he said. “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.”