Former Bachelor Chris Soules has appeared in court following his arrest after being accused of fleeing the scene after allegedly rear-ending a tractor and killing its driver in a fatal crash.
Local television station KWWL was at Soules’ court arraignment on April 25 and published the above photo of the reality star sitting in court wearing a jail jumpsuit.
Soules was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident where death occurred. That’s a violation of Iowa code section 321.261(4), and it’s a Class “d” felony upon conviction, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department told Heavy. He could face up to five years in prison if he’s convicted of the offense.
Soules appeared in court and was arraigned in Independence, Iowa on the morning of April 25. “Bond was set $10,000 cash only, and Soules will have to be supervised by pretrial services staff if bond is posted. A preliminary hearing has been set for May 2 at 1:30 p.m.,” reports The Courier.
The fatal accident occurred in Iowa on Monday, April 24 at 8:20 p.m. not far from Soules’ farm. News broke on April 25.
According to KWWL, “The Buchanan County Attorney says before law enforcement could get to the scene, Soules had allegedly left the scene. They later found the vehicle at a home that Soules was present at. It took hours to get a search warrant to get Soules out of the home.” The station says authorities say Soules “took off, but left his truck behind.”
A press release provided to Heavy by the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office in Independence, Iowa, says that, on Monday, April 24 at about 8:20 p.m, “the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 report of a motor vehicle accident in the 1000 blk of Slater Avenue north of Aurora involving a pickup truck and a tractor.”
The cause of the crash, which occurred about 15 miles from Soules’ farm, is still under investigation.
Soules, a 36-year-old Iowa farmer, took TV viewers of the Bachelor franchise into his small-town lifestyle back home in Iowa on Season 19, and he later appeared on Dancing With the Stars.
Here’s Soules’ mugshot, which was provided to Heavy by the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities say that Soules was the one who rear-ended the tractor. “Chris was driving a Chevy pickup and rear ended a John Deere tractor trailer, sending it into a ditch,” reports TMZ.
Several reports said that alcoholic beverages were found, but it’s not clear whether Soules had consumed them or whether the crash was alcohol-related. According to TMZ, “Soules is in court now for his arraignment. TMZ has obtained documents in which police say he was in possession of alcoholic beverage containers at the time of the crash. Soules was apprehended after witnesses near the scene of the crash ID’d him and called police.” However, officials have not confirmed that account.
In a statement, according to USA Today, Soules’ lawyers said: “While initial reports suggested Soules fled the scene, the 911 call confirms that Soules in fact was the one who contacted law enforcement immediately. During the call, he clearly identified himself and explained his role in the terrible accident. Soules attempted to resuscitate Mr. Mosher and remained on the scene with him until emergency medical personnel arrived. Soules’ attorneys are exploring the possibility of a gag order to prevent further misinformation from prejudicing Soules’ right to a fair trial.”
USA Today reported that the statement continued: “His attorneys are confident that once all the evidence is made public, it will show Soules acted reasonably and did everything in his power to provide aid to Mr. Mosher.”
According to KWBE, “The arrest report also states Soules ‘possessed alcoholic beverages/containers,’ but does not address whether they were open, nor whether Soules may have been intoxicated.”
KIMT reports that “authorities said they received a report of an accident in the 1000 block of Slater Avenue, north of Aurora around 8:30 p.m. A report from the Iowa State Patrol shows a pickup rear ended a tractor going southbound on Slater Avenue. The tractor and the truck then went into opposite ditches.”
The driver of the tractor did not survive the crash and is from Aurora, Iowa, but he has not yet been identified pending notification of family.
Soules had posted photos of his Chevy truck on Twitter before the crash. One said, “This is not a promo for @ChevyTrucks… just another day in #godscountry #farmlife #Iowa.”