American Idol alum Rickey Smith has tragically died at the age of 36.
The season two finalist was killed on Friday morning in a wrong-way collision on an interstate highway in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, officials tell KOCO News. The other driver reportedly crashed into Smith's car head-on.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers "detected odor of alcohol" on the driver's breathe and later arrested him for DUI, the local news agency states.
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Smith placed eight his season of Idol and fellow contestants, including Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, have shared touching tributes. "Suffice it to say my heart is truly breaking today," Aiken tweeted. "Heaven's choir has a new beautiful voice. I love you and will miss you, Rickey."
"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," Studdard wrote. "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!!!"
Kimberly Caldwell wrote that her "heart is broken" and called Smith one of a kind. "I have never met anyone that could brighten your world like he did," she recalled. "I was so fortunate to share the time we had together on Idol and on tour. I will cherish those memories."
Frequent Idol collaborator Melinda Doolittle shared a sweet photo of the two and captioned it, "Rickey, you will be missed so very much. I can't find the words right now. I'm devastated. Rest in sweet peace, my friend. I am blessed to have known you."
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