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'American Idol' finalist Rickey Smith killed in car crash


UPI News Service, 05/09/2016 

Former "American Idol" finalist Rickey Smith was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City early Friday.

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KOCO reports that Smith, 36, was identified at the scene of a wrong-way crash between a 2003 GMC truck and Smith's 2015 Honda Accord on Interstate 240 at 3:10 a.m.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol identified the driver of the truck as Gerardo Cerda Jr., 27, and said they detected the odor of alcohol at the scene of the accident.

He was treated for injuries at a hospital, then taken to jail.

Smith placed eighth on the second season of "American Idol" in 2003.

Season 2 winner Ruben Studdard shared a photo of Smith along with a message of condolence and disbelief.

"You were the heart of our season and the true definition of a real friend," he wrote. "I will miss you my Friend R.I.P Ricky Smith. I'm sure you're in heaven singing you're heart out!"

Fellow contestant Clay Aiken shared his reaction on Twitter.

"Suffice it to say my heart is truly breaking today," he wrote. "Heaven's choir has a new beautiful voice. I love you and will miss you, Rickey."



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