Willie Spence, a former “American Idol” runner-up, died in an automobile accident on Tuesday, according to investigators.
Spence, 23, finished second in the show’s 19th season, which aired last year, to Chayce Beckham.
According to a preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Marion County Medical Examiner, the crash happened around 4 p.m.
Tuesday in Marion County, East Tennessee, when Spence’s 2019 Jeep Cherokee “left the roadway” and collided with the back of a tractor trailer that was stopped on the shoulder of the east side of Interstate 24, at the 147 mile marker.
According to the investigation, both Spence, who is originally from Georgia, and the tractor trailer driver, who is 68 years old, were wearing seat belts.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating why Spence’s automobile swerved off the road, according to a representative for the department.