Runner-up on American Idol, Willie Spence claimed to lose his life by a vehicle tragedy in the US.
According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Marion County medical examiner’s report, the 23-year-old singer was killed when his Jeep Cherokee “left the roadway” and crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer that had stopped on the hard shoulder in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Spence, a Georgia native and finalist on season 19 of American Idol, came in second place behind Chayce Beckham. According to the investigation, Spence and the 68-year-old tractor-trailer driver were buckled up at the time of the accident.
On Tuesday, the Marion County medical examiner, Barbara O’Neal, ruled that Spence had died from “multisystem trauma due to motor vehicle accident” and that he had been pronounced dead at the site. Tennessee State Troopers are looking into what caused Spence’s car to go off the road, according to a spokeswoman.
“He was a true talent who lit up every room he entered,” said a statement from the singing competition show. We are heartbroken by the loss of Willie Spence, a dear friend and member of the American Idol family,” the statement read.
We are devastated about the passing of our beloved American Idol family member, Willie Spence. He was a true talent who lit up every room he entered and will be deeply missed. We send our condolences to his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/QWrWqf7qQN
— American Idol (@AmericanIdol) October 12, 2022
We are deeply sorry for his family’s loss. Alyssa Wray, another participant on American Idol, wrote on Instagram that she was “so heartbroken” and that Spence has a “soul that people were drawn to.”
Spence’s journey in the competition began when he performed Diamonds by Rihanna for Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan at his audition. Spence uploaded a video of himself performing “You Are My Hiding Place” to Instagram just hours before the tragedy.
Numerous well-wishers commented favourably on his most recent update. According to an Instagram post, Spence was scheduled to play in London the following month.