Haley Smith, a former contestant on American Idol who once wowed Steven Tyler with her unique singing voice, has died in Millinocket, Maine, the police chief there confirmed to Heavy.
TMZ, which broke the story, reported that the cause of death was a motorcycle crash and also confirmed the news with Smith’s father. She died on Saturday morning. “Yes, unfortunately we responded to a single vehicle accident at 0200 hours, on August 31, 2019,” Millinocket Police Chief Craig Worster wrote Heavy in a news release.
“A female operating a motorcycle crashed on Medway Road in Millinocket, which resulted in her death. The operator is identified as Haley F. Smith, DOB 11/07/1992, her local address was on State Street in Millinocket, originally from Utah,” the chief wrote. Haley sometimes went by the name Halley Love Hendrickson.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Haley Smith Failed to Make a Sharp Turn, Reports Say
As for the specific cause, the chief wrote, “It would appear initially that she failed to negotiate a sharp turn and crashed. A Sergeant from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s office and an officer from Old Town Police Department assisted in the crash investigation. Investigation pending.”
Her father told TMZ that a deer might have caused the crash because she was a good rider.
The agency involved is the Millinocket Police Department. That department is located in Millinocket, ME.
2. Haley’s Boyfriend Wrote That She Was His ‘Dream Girl’
On Facebook, Haley wrote that she was in a relationship with Tristan McAvoy.
Tristan McAvoy wrote a tribute to Smith on Facebook. “I wont ever forget you. I love you dream girl,” he wrote, posting a video of her playing an ukulele. On September 1, he wrote, “Waking up another morning to the same truth. Miss you baby.”
When a friend commented that it seemed like a bad dream, Tristan wrote, “My dad was upstairs moving around and for a moment. I thought it was her. Best moment of the day.”
Friends filled his comment thread with tributes to Haley Smith. “I am so unbelievably sorry for your loss Tristan. She was truly such an amazing person. Every single time I saw her she always had the most beautiful smile on her face. She was always so happy, so sweet and so kind to everyone she came across, No matter who they were. My heart truly breaks for you and everyone who knew and loved her ?,” wrote one woman.
3. Haley Had a Brief Stint on American Idol’s 11th Season
Haley Smith was 26 years old when she died. She was known for “auditioning on season 11 of American Idol,” US Weekly reports. She didn’t make it through the second round of eliminations on the show, though.
In her audition video, she said she felt most at peace “being outdoors.” In the American Idol episode, Haley was 18 and living in Colorado. She said she “lived in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere.”
She said the “landscape is to die for if you’re going to die for anything.”
4. Smith Worked as a Whitewater River Guide & ‘Dish Pit Queen’
On Facebook, Haley Smith wrote that she was going “upwards. at Whatever It Takes.” She worked as a “Dish Pit Queen, ruler of the suds- weilder of steel at The Boatman’s Bar & Grill Millinocket” and a “Former Whitewater River Guide at New England Outdoor Center – NEOC.”
She also did housekeeping and studied at UVU and BYU-Pathway Worldwide. She went to Orem High School and Mountain View High School and Timpanogos High School and lived in Millinocket, Maine.
Smith said on American Idol that she had three jobs. She cleaned houses, cleaned tables at a restaurant and was a “vegetarian working in the meat department.” She discussed making ground sausage.
5. Steven Tyler Told Haley He Was Honored to Listen to Her Sing
Haley wowed one judge in her American Idol audition: Steven Tyler.
Jennifer Lopez told Haley she got a 1960s or 1970s vibe from Haley who commented that she enjoyed that era of music. She sang Rufus and Chaka Khan, “Tell Me Something Good,” written by Stevie Wonder.
“I love your voice so much. You’re right out of my era, and I’m honored to be here listening to your voice,” said Steven Tyler. Randy Jackson said he liked the fact that Haley was “being who you are. The natural gift. We always say to people make it your own. You don’t need to sound like the record, and you were definitely doing your own thing.”