In his first interview on the subject, “Bachelor” alum Chris Soules opened up about his involvement in a 2017 car crash that left one man dead and entangled him in a years-long legal saga.
The 37-year-old former reality star, who was initially facing a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality, had that charge altered to an aggravated misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury, Source reports. After entering a conditional guilty plea in November, Soules accepted a suspended two-year prison sentence last month, with the agreement that he will remain on probation for the duration of the sentence, in addition to paying various fines.
Speaking to Source about the accident for the first time in a piece published Wednesday, Soules said, “The trauma of being involved in [the accident] is something I cannot describe … I think about it every day.”
“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have done more or change the outcome of what happened,” says Soules, who last month received two years of probation for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury. “My outlook on life has changed forever.”
Soules, a farmer who lives in Iowa, was driving his pickup truck on April 24, 2017, when he crashed into the back of a tractor being driven by Kenneth Mosher, a 66-year-old Vietnam veteran, according to an earlier Source report.
Recalling the crash, Soules said, “The next thing you know, I’m coming to inside my pickup. I heard a voice [of a man who had witnessed the accident] saying, ‘Call 911.’”
Soules said that he obliged and, while on the phone with the dispatcher, went to Mosher and began performing CPR on the unconscious man.
“I was giving chest compressions and continued to do CPR until eventually I spat out [Mosher’s] blood,” he said. “He coughed up blood in my mouth. At that point I thought it didn’t seem to be doing a lot of good. I was scared. And I remember thinking he might not make it.”
Soules added that, as the paramedics got to the scene, “I remember praying [that he would be okay].”
Soules got into another car that one of the workers on his farm had driven to the site of the accident and drove himself home, according to Source. Soules was arrested early the following morning after police met him at the house, with Soules reportedly refusing to open the door for authorities until they procured a warrant.
Recalling his behavior, Soules told Source that he called his parents on his way home, and they instructed him to call an attorney; that attorney then told him not to talk to police without legal representation present.
Soules said that he “just followed his instructions” and “wasn’t expecting police at [his] door.”
“In hindsight, I was charged with a crime,” he continued. “But I really didn’t know that there were grounds for arrest at that point.”
Following the crash, Mosher was transported to a hospital, where he died. Soules has since reached a civil settlement with the victim’s family that prevents him from talking about some aspects of what happened that day, according to Source.
But Soules insists now that he did everything he could to help Mosher, telling the outlet, “I was out of my mind. I felt like I did everything in my power when I was there and I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t know anything. I just knew it was really bad and I was scared.”
Soules said that, following the accident and Mosher’s death, he “saw some dark times” and will live with what happened “forever.”
“I saw some dark times,” he says. “I’m in the middle of nowhere as it is and I was even deeper in the isolation and the guilt. I thought many times that it would have been easier on the other side.”
But eventually, with the help of family and friends, Soules has been able to look toward the future, and hopes that, now that the legal chapter of the accident is closed, he can come together with the Mosher family to mourn the loss of their husband and father.
“I’ll live with [what happened] forever,” says Soules. “But I will carry on, and as a result of the tragedy, do something bigger and better with my life.”
Soules, who made his first TV appearance in 2014 as a contestant on “The Bachelorette” before starring in “The Bachelor” in 2015, went on to appear on “Dancing with The Stars” later that year.