american idol willie spence dies

Willie Spence, 23, died on Tuesday after colliding with the back of a tractor-trailer stopped on Interstate 24 East near Chattanooga.

According to the accident report, both drivers were wearing seatbelts and the truck driver was unharmed.

Spence, a Georgia native, finished second on season 19 of "American Idol" a year ago.

Spence was described as "a real talent who lit up every place he visited" in a social media statement from the singing competition show.

"We are devastated by the departure of Willie Spence, a beloved member of our American Idol family," said the statement.

"We express our condolences to his family."

"When Spence started singing, he could instantly change the vibe," says Luke Bryan, one of the show's judges.

Bryan said on Twitter, "He will genuinely be missed."