OKLAHOMA CITY – Former “American Idol” finalist Rickey E. Smith Jr. was killed Friday in a car crash in Oklahoma, according to multiple reports. He was 36.
Smith was involved in a multi-car, wrong-way collision on I-240 just outside Oklahoma City around 3 a.m., according to KFOR.
According to KFOR, a man driving a pickup truck in the wrong direction slammed head-on into Smith’s vehicle.
Gerardo Cedra Jr., 27, was driving his 2003 GMC pickup the wrong way on I-240 eastbound and crashed into 36-year-old Rickey E. Smith Jr., who was driving a 2015 Honda Accord.
Officials say Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cedra was hospitalized and arrested for a DUI. The eastbound interstate was shut down for several hours after the accident.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers believe Cedra may have been under the influence of alcohol. He was taken into custody, but has not yet been booked into the Oklahoma County Jail.
While crews worked to clear the scene, a police car that was blocking off part of the accident was hit by another car.
The officer was transported to a local hospital where he is expected to be ok.
Smith appeared on Ruben Studdard’s season of “American Idol” (Season 2), finishing in eighth place. Fellow Season 2 finalist Clay Aiken took to Twitter to express his sadness over the news.
Suffice it to say my heart is truly breaking today. 💔 Heaven's choir has a new beautiful voice. I love you and will miss you, Rickey. 💔
— Clay Aiken (@clayaiken) May 6, 2016