‘American Idol’ alum Caleb Kennedy charged with DUI linked to South Carolina fatality

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Former “American Idol” contestant Caleb Kennedy was charged Tuesday with felony driving under the influence resulting in death after an afternoon crash left a Spartanburg, South Carolina, man dead.

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According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, 17-year-old Kennedy was driving a 2011 Ford pickup when he veered onto a private Murph Road driveway and struck a workshop behind the home, WSPA-TV reported.

WCIV was the first news outlet to report on the crash and Kennedy’s arrest.

Troopers confirmed to WCBD that the person inside the building was injured and died a short while later at an area hospital. Kennedy was also transported for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 54-year-old Larry Duane Parris, WSPA-TV reported.

Kennedy was a Top 5 finalist on Season 19 of “American Idol” before withdrawing in May 2021 after a controversial video surfaced. The video “showed him sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood,” according to The Associated Press.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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