SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – A former American Idol contestant was charged with felony driving under the influence after crashing into a workshop Tuesday afternoon in Spartanburg County.
According to the Pacolet Fire Department, a vehicle ran into a workshop behind a home at 12:33 p.m. in the 200 block of W. Murph Road just 3 miles south of Pacolet.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a 2011 Ford pickup truck, driven by Caleb Andrew Kennedy, 17, of Roebuck, was traveling north on W. Murph Road, when it traveled onto a private driveway and hit the building.
Troopers said a person inside the building was injured and taken to Spartanburg Medical Center where they later died.
The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 54-year-old Larry Duane Parris.
Kennedy was also taken to the hospital with injuries.
Pacolet Fire District Chief Heath Brown called this crash unusual.
“Mostly just the area that it’s in, it’s off the road, like it is. Because this right here, as you can see, is more like a personal driveway, than it is a road,” he said.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol charged Kennedy with felony driving under the influence resulting in death.
“We don’t have many responses in this area. I’ve been in this business 20 years and this is one of the most unique instances I’ve ever been on with a car versus a building,” said Chief Brown.
Kennedy is being held in the Spartanburg County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing Wednesday morning.
Kennedy appeared on season 19 of American Idol but withdrew from the competition in May 2021 after a video circulated of him sitting next to someone wearing what appeared to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.
Kennedy dropped out of the show and posted an apology on Instagram.