Chris Soules, an alum of the popular ABC show, “The Bachelor,” was arrested in Iowa following a deadly hit-and-run car accident. According to a news report on Variety.com, Soules, who starred on season 19 of the hit series, was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal car accident, which is a Class D felony punishable by five years in prison. The 35-year-old Soules was not charged with driving under the influence although TMZ obtained court documents that allegedly show he was in possession of alcoholic beverage containers at the time of the crash.
Soules reportedly rear-ended a John Deere tractor with his pickup truck, a 2008 Chevy Silverado, near Aurora in Buchanan County the night of April 24, 2017. Both vehicles, which were going south at the time of the crash, ended up in roadside ditches. The person driving the tractor was rushed to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Soules was uninjured and left the scene of the accident before law enforcement officials arrived. He was later arrested and appeared for his arraignment the morning of April 25.
Similar Incident in 2002
This is apparently not the first time Soules has left the scene of a crash. Radar Online did some digging and found that he had also fled the scene of a 2002 accident, also in Iowa, but in Cedar Falls. That time, Soules was arrested for leaving the scene of property damage and failure to stop at a stop sign on February 22, 2002.
He immediately left the scene and never attempted to make contact or check on the driver’s condition, according to the police report. However, he admitted to striking the other vehicle after police contacted him. Soules told police he was “scared” and didn’t want his insurance rates to go up. That was the “reasoning” he gave police for leaving the scene of the crash, the report said. He pleaded guilty in that case and was ordered to pay $155 in fines.
Hit-and-run drivers can be held financially liable for the injuries, damages and losses they cause. Injured victims can seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Families of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation as well. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to advice victims or families about how their auto insurance policy might apply to an accident where the driver has not been identified or in a case where the at-fault driver is uninsured or underinsured.