In the early morning hours on Friday, May 6th, a former American Idol finalist and Oklahoma native was tragically killed in a gruesome accident.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol revealed that the 36-year-old singer was the only casualty from the brutal car accident on Interstate 240. The east-bound lanes were closed for hours after the 3 a.m. crash happened.
Rickey E. Smith Jr. was a finalist in the second season of American Idol, and was honored by his home state in 2003 for his incredible performance on the television competition.
Credit: Chris Polk/FilmMagic
"You bring pride to Oklahoma, you bring recognition to Oklahoma; we're excited for your achievements," Fmr. Secretary of State, Susan Savage said, according to FOX25/OKC.
Smith was headed east-bound on the freeway when a large truck headed the wrong direction barreled into him head-on, crushing the front end of his vehicle and killing him.
27-year-old Gerardo Cerda Jr. was the driver of the pickup that killed Smith and was treated for injuries at the hospital before being released.
A report by the patrolling officers states that there was an odor of alcohol in the pickup, however the crash remains under investigation. It was also reported that both drivers were wearing seat belts.
FOX 25 also reports that Cerda is now facing DUI charges.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Smith's family during this very difficult time.
One of the few performances available to watch online is his stunning Larry Gatlin cover during Country Rock Night on the show. Watch his amazing performance below.
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