Chris Soules released from jail on $10,000 bond after allegedly fleeing scene of fatal accident, victim identified
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/25/2017
Chris Soules was released from jail Tuesday morning after being charged with leaving the scene of an accident in which his truck rear-ended a farm tractor and killed the tractor driver, and the victim has been identified.
Soules, 35, had his first court appearance Tuesday morning at the Buchanan County Courthouse, and his mother Linda Soules posted his $10,000 bond at 11:37AM, The Des Moines Register reported.
The Season 19 The Bachelor star was booked into the Buchanan County Jail hours earlier at 1:16AM on a criminal charge of leaving the scene of a deadly crash on Monday night, a jail employee told the newspaper, and he will face a punishable fine of anywhere between $750 to $7,500 and up to five years in prison if convicted.
During Soules' arraignment hearing, Assistant Buchanan County Attorney Jenalee Zaputil said the former The Bachelor star "fled from the scene and took off" and then refused to leave his house when authorities traced a vehicle to his home.
Zaputil said it "took hours" to obtain a search warrant in order to "retrieve Soules from inside the house in order to continue the investigation" and arrest him.
"At no point did Mr. Soules come out of the house or cooperate with law enforcement," Zaputil told the judge at the hearing, before adding "at any point, in trying to get in contact with them about regarding this individual and this fatality accident."
For those reasons, and "because Mr. Soules is already showing he's not cooperating with law enforcement or surrendering himself at any time," Zaputil requested Soules be released on $10,000 bond.
Court documents obtained by the Register say Soules -- who is being represented by West Des Moines-based attorney Mary K. Spellman -- will be supervised following his jail release and not allowed to leave Iowa without written consent from the court.
Soules will also be subject to electronic monitoring.
Deputy Cory Hartmann, who initially responded to the accident scene, told the Register that the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office got a call at about 8:20PM on Monday night that a truck had rear-ended a farm tractor north of Aurora in Buchanan County.
The Iowa State Patrol report claims Soules was about 15 miles from home driving a 2008 Chevy pickup truck southbound on Buchanan County Road W45, which is also called Slater Avenue, when his vehicle collided with a John Deere model 2640 tractor. The tractor reportedly rolled into the east ditch and the truck went into the west ditch.
Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright told The Register that Soules left the crash scene and headed north. After the Buchanan County Sheriff's Office arrested him, Soules was reportedly taken to the hospital for medical treatment and then to the jail. Bright said he believes there were no passengers in Soules' truck.
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The tractor driver was identified Tuesday as Kenneth E. Mosher, 66, of Aurora, according to the patrol report obtained by the newspaper. Mosher was taken after the crash by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Oelwein, where he was pronounced dead.
Soules was allegedly in possession of alcoholic beverages or containers at the time of the accident, though it is unclear if he was intoxicated at the time. Both vehicles were towed from the site and the accident is still under investigation.
Mosher was reportedly a farmer, like Soules, and a military veteran who lived on his family farm east of Aurora.
Mosher was a resident of the Buchanan County town of fewer than 200 people for most of his life, according to the Register. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy, and the couple had two sons, according to one of Mosher's former business colleagues David Young.
"We feel that pretty hard. He was a good guy... He loved being a farmer and he liked the time off to go golfing in the summertime," Young told The Register.
A preliminary hearing has been set for Soules, a longtime Arlington resident, on Tuesday, May 2 at 1:30PM.
In addition to starring on The Bachelor in 2015, Soules also previously competed for Andi Dorfman onThe Bachelorette's tenth season as well as Season 20 of Dancing with the Stars and the Food Network's Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition.
Soules also told Entertainment Tonight in March he may consider an appearance on the fourth season of Bachelor in Paradise this summer.