Former ABC’s “American Idol” finalist Willie Spence died in a car accident Tuesday, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol. He was 23 years old.
A preliminary report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol found that Spence’s Jeep Cherokee was driving east along Interstate 24 in Marion County at around 4 p.m. Tuesday, when it veered off the road and veered past a tractor-trailer. collided, which had come on the shoulder.
The report said that Spence, a resident of Dunwoody, Georgia, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
The driver of the truck was not injured. As per the report no charges have been laid in the accident.
Spence came second in season 19 of ‘American Idol’, which aired last year.
In a statement posted to the “American Idol” Twitter account, the show said it was “devastated.”
“He was a true genius who permeated every room and will be greatly missed,” the statement read. “We send our condolences to their loved ones.”
Luke Bryan, a country music star and also a judge on “American Idol” paid tribute For Spence on Twitter.
“Willie really brightened up every room he went into,” he wrote. “He could instantly change the mood when he started singing. He would be really missed.”
Katharine McPhee Foster, who mentored Spence and sang with him on the show, shared the news of his death on her Instagram account late Tuesday.
“Life is so unfair and nothing is ever promised,” she wrote. “God rest your soul Willie. Glad to sing with you and know you.”