‘American Idol’s Caleb Kennedy Charged With Felony DUI After Fatal Crash
American Idol alum Caleb Kennedy has been charged with a felony DUI. The 17 year old allegedly hit a building with his 2011 Ford pickup, killing the person inside. The South Carolina Highway Patrol said he was charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in death.
South Carolina Highway Patrol’s Mitchell Ridgeway said the crash remains under investigation. Kennedy allegedly ran off the road into a private driveway around 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday where he hit a building. 54-year-old Larry Duane Parris was inside the building at the time and later died at the hospital.
Kennedy was treated for injuries following the deadly crash, which took place about 15 miles from his home. Kennedy was then booked in the Spartanburg County Detention Center on a felony DUI death charge according to Murray Glenn, a spokesman for the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office. A bond hearing will be held at 11 a.m.
Kennedy appeared on Season 19 of American Idol, but withdrew from the competition when a video of him sitting next to someone wearing what appeared to be a Ku Klux Klan hood surfaced. At the time, Kennedy said the friend in the video was portraying a character in a movie, but he still left the competition. It is unclear whether Idol forced him to withdraw or not, but the show later removed all of Kennedy’s performances from its YouTube channel.
Caleb Kennedy Withdrew From American Idol Following Apparent Racist Video
The video, which was supposedly recorded when Kennedy was 12 years old, had the caption: “bow.” At the time, Kennedy said the video “displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.”
“You think it’s all going to be fun, and a lot of it is, but it will slap you in the face really quickly. I wasn’t ready for it,” Kennedy later told South Carolina newspaper the Herald-Journal. “On Idol, that wasn’t me. That world is so different. Now that I’m home, I try to be me, but I’m also scared of someone videoing me when I go to Academy or Wal-Mart. You have to worry about things like that now.”
Despite the controversy surrounding his exit, Kennedy quickly returned to the stage for performances in South Carolina.
Kennedy did not immediately respond to requests for comment.