IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Former “The Bachelor” star Chris Soules called 911 to report his crash that killed a fellow Iowa farmer, seeking medical help for the man before he allegedly left the scene.
Soules told the dispatcher that he “rear-ended a guy on a tractor” with his pickup truck Monday night on a road near the northern Iowa town of Aurora, according to a recording of the call released Wednesday.
Soules, who appeared on the hit ABC reality show two years ago, said the man had been thrown into a ditch, wasn’t conscious, and didn’t appear to be breathing. He told the dispatcher that he didn’t know CPR, and he could be heard asking others who were there if they did. The audio then indicates that someone tried to perform CPR on the man, but it’s unclear whether it was Soules. Soules said the man had a pulse and had blood coming from his mouth.
The six-minute call ends when Soules asks whether he can call back and hangs up. The tractor driver, a 66-year-old local farmer named Kenneth Mosher, was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Authorities say Soules left the scene in another truck — it’s unclear who was driving — before emergency responders arrived. He was arrested about five hours later at his farm in nearby Arlington, which is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Iowa City. He was booked on a charge of leaving the scene of a deadly crash and released on bond hours later on the condition that he surrender his passport and wear an ankle monitor until his trial.
Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Wolfgram said investigators are trying to determine whether alcohol or speed were factors in the crash. He also said they are also trying to identify the person who picked up Soules and that this person could be charged, depending on the circumstances.
Additional charges are possible, but the initial charge against Soules carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Assistant Buchanan County Attorney Jenalee Zaputil said Soules refused to leave his home and it took hours for police to get a search warrant to go inside and arrest him.
His attorneys haven’t replied to messages seeking comment. His publicist released a statement Tuesday saying Soules was devastated to learn Mosher had died and that Soules offered his thoughts and prayers to Mosher’s family.
Soules, 35, was a fan favorite when he participated in “The Bachelorette” in 2014, so ABC brought him back as “The Bachelor” the next year. He proposed to a Chicago contestant, Whitney Bischoff, at the end of his season, but their relationship soon fizzled. Soules later appeared on “Dancing With The Stars” and has served as a spokesman for agricultural interests while working in farm real estate.
The audio’s release comes weeks after the Iowa House passed a bill that would have classified 911 calls involving injured people as confidential “medical records” that were exempt from the open records law. The measure, which would have blocked the release of Soules’ call, died in the state Senate after The Associated Press and other critics argued it would harm the public’s right-to-know.
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