Haley Smith, a contestant on Season 11 of American Idol, died Saturday following a motorcycle crash in Millinocket, Maine, Millinocket police confirmed to Deadline. She was 26.
In a statement, police said it appears Smith failed to negotiate a sharp turn and crashed. She was pronounced dead at the scene. An investigation into the crash is pending.
Smith auditioned in 2012 in Colorado at age 18, performing Rufus and Chaka Kahn’s “Tell Me Something Good” for judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler. Tyler seemed particularly impressed, telling Smith he loved her voice and was honored to hear her sing, adding she was right out of his “era.” She made it to Hollywood, but was cut after the first round.
Smith’s father, Mike Smith, told TMZ, which was first to report her death, that his daughter was a good rider and believes a deer may have been involved in the accident.
You can watch a clip of Smith’s American Idol audition below.
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