Musician Chris Carney, who starred in an MTV reality show before marrying actress Tiffany Thornton, died in a car crash Friday in Hot Springs, Arkansas, according to law enforcement. He was 35.
Carney was a passenger traveling westbound on highway 70 in Hot Springs — his hometown — when the driver, identified by police as Ezekiel Blanton, “failed to negotiate a curve and over-corrected,” according to an Arkansas State Police fatal-crash summary.
The car drove off the road and struck a tree. Both Carney and Blanton were pronounced dead at the scene by the Garland County coroner.
Carney sang in the band Prom Kings, which formed in the mid-2000s in Los Angeles. It led to the short-lived MTV reality show “twentyfourseven,” which followed Carney and his brother in their pursuit of an entertainment career.
The show was a flop and his band broke up, leaving Carney down and out, according to a 2011 Arkansas Time profile. But his real second act was about to begin, one in which he would find religion, a job as a probation officer and the love of his life.
He left Los Angeles in 2007 and returned to Hot Springs, where his mother was mayor (and still is) and his father is a pastor. He told the Arkansas Times that when he was arrested on drug charges, the judge gave him three choices: jail, a state-funded treatment center or a faith-based drug rehab. He chose the third option.
About 10 months later, he saw Thornton on her Disney Channel show, “Sonny With a Chance,” and fell in love. He reached out to her and they began talking, sparking a connection that led to their marriage in 2011. They have two children together.
After completing treatment he got a job with the county DWI court. It is unclear whether he still he had that job when he died.
Thornton, now a blogger and radio show host in Hot Springs, shared a picture on Instagram of her husband with their children captioned “My life. My love. My angel.”
The City of Hot Springs expressed condolences to the victims’ families in a Facebook post.