‘American Idol’ Finalist Killed in Car Crash

Rickey Smith dead American Idol
Courtesy of Fox

Former “American Idol” finalist Rickey E. Smith Jr. was killed Friday morning in a car crash in Oklahoma, Variety has confirmed. Smith was 36.

Smith was involved in a multi-car, wrong-way collision on I-240 just outside Oklahoma City at around 3:15 a.m. According to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons, 27-year-old Gerardo Cerda Jr. was traveling in a pickup truck headed westbound in the eastbound lanes, and slammed head-on into Smith’s vehicle.

Smith died on the scene of multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Cerda was treated for injuries at a hospital and released. He now faces DUI charges.

The eastbound interstate was shut down for more than three hours after the accident, but has since been opened.

“OKC: I-240 east bound at Penn is still closed due to an injury collision,” the Oklahoma Highway Patrol tweeted early this morning.

Smith appeared on Ruben Studdard’s season of “American Idol” (Season 2), finishing in eighth place. Smith was honored by the state of Oklahoma in 2003 for his performance on the show.

Studdard wrote on Instagram that he was in “utter disbelief” following the news.

“As I sit here in utter disbelief about the fact that you went to be with the Lord, I think back on all the fun times we had. How we set up for hours in our room in the ‘Idol’ mansion talking and listening to music. How much fun we all had on our very first tour. You were the heart of our season and the true definition of a real friend. I will miss you my friend. RIP Ricky Smith. I’m sure you’re in heaven singing you’re heart out!”

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  1. Whodatninja says:

    What a waste. I’m not really a fan of the show, but here’s a guy that went for his dream and was cut down by some irresponsible jerk. It’s sad and an avoidable waste. Throw the book at the lousy drunk that killed him

  2. Why was the driver that murdered Rickey released and only facing DUI charges?

  3. It sucks when life is taken from this earth by anyone let alone a drunk driver. Too many of those and yes, I’ve known more than a few. Rest in peace my friend.

  4. Darlene Tarrance says:

    RIP Rickey

  5. Giovanni D'Abruzzo says:

    Ricky had an astounding voice that communicated love & compassion to all. Also just happened to have a beautiful smile. Ricky projected all good things. Hope his love keeps pouring down from Heaven.

  6. Chris Boyle says:

    Ok, I’ve lost count of how many celebrities have died since January 2nd. It’s unreal! At least 1 to 2 every week! If I was a celebrity I’d be shaking in my boots this year!!! R.I.P. to Mr. Smith and praying for his Family while they mourn for their son! Love, Chrissie

  7. Consuella Dumas says:

    Rest peacefully in the bosom of our Lord.

  8. Shawanda Cole says:

    Lord when my sister sent me a text this morning that you died in a car wreck I couldn’t and didn’t want to believe it cause our family had already lost an angel. And now we are at another lost losing another angel. This goes to show me nobody knows when they will be gone. As for the drunk that killed you!!!!! He will get his punishment on judgement day.

  9. Anita Guin says:

    My heart goes out to his family and all who loves him!

  10. Michelle says:

    How sad. Another selfish, drunken jerk takes a life.

  11. me says:

    The better question is, why are you an idiot?

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