Former ‘Bachelor’ called 911 before fleeing after crash, police say

Updated April 26, 2017 - 7:35 pm

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Former “Bachelor” Chris Soules called 911 to report his crash that killed a fellow Iowa farmer, seeking medical help for the man before authorities say he left the scene and holed up in his home for hours until his arrest.

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 starred on ABC’s “The Bachelor” 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.

According to Mosher’s obituary published Wednesday by the funeral home handling his arrangements, he had a wife, two sons and three grandchildren. He also served in the Army in Vietnam.

“Kenny loved playing golf, farming, and spending his winters in Florida biking and visiting his mother,” the obituary read.

Authorities say Soules’ pickup was damaged and that he left the scene in another truck before emergency responders arrived.

Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Wolfgram said Wednesday that investigators are trying to identify the person who picked Soules up and that this person could be charged, depending on the circumstances. He said the Iowa State Patrol was trying to determine whether alcohol or speed were factors in the crash.

Soules was arrested about five hours after the crash 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. Additional charges are possible.

Wolfgram said that Soules refused to answer his door for officers, telling them to contact his attorney. He said it took several hours for officers to write a search warrant application and get a judge to approve it, allowing them to enter the home to arrest him.

“We’re running into some roadblocks when it comes to getting information,” Wolfgram said, while acknowledging that Soules was acting within his constitutional rights.

Soules’ 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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