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Former 'American Idol' contestant charged in fatal DUI crash

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Posted at 5:27 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 22:02:26-05

Authorities say a former American Idol contestant has been charged with driving under the influence resulting in death.

The South Carolina State Patrol says 17-year-old Caleb Andrew Kennedy drove his pickup truck onto a private driveway, killing a man who had been standing just outside his machine shop Tuesday afternoon.

According to WYFF in Greenville, Kennedy told law enforcement that he had taken a hit from a vape pen prior to the crash. It's unclear what substance was in the vape pen.

Kennedy's attorney also claims his client was on medication and there may have been a bad reaction, according to the NBC affiliate.

The prosecutor's office says Kennedy is being charged as an adult. He remains in jail ahead of a bond hearing.

Kennedy made it to the top 5 on the ABC reality show last year, but dropped out of the singing competition after a video circulated of him sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.

He later apologized for the video.