The Bachelor fans are freaking out in the aftermath of the arrest of popular franchise star Chris Soules after he was involved in a hit and run accident in Iowa that left a man dead. The Bachelor Season 19 star, dubbed affectionately as Prince Farming by Bachelor Nation, was arrested Monday night after he allegedly crashed into a John Deere tractor that was operating in front of him and left the scene of the accident. The tractor driver died after being taken by an ambulance to a local hospital, according to TMZ.
Soules, 35, was reportedly driving a Chevy pickup when he rear-ended the tractor, sending both vehicles into a ditch and killing the older male driver. The Bachelor star was apprehended after witnesses near the scene of the crash recognized him and called police, but he wasn't arrested at his home until hours later because a search warrant was needed. The reality star was booked by the Buchanan County sheriff's office after being charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.In a statement to People, a rep for The Bachelor star said he was "devastated" by the accident.
"Chris Soules was involved in an accident Monday evening (April 24) in a rural part of Iowa near his home. He was devastated to learn that Kenneth Mosher, the other person in the accident, passed away. His thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Mosher's family."In addition, Soules' ex-fiancée, Bachelor winner Whitney Bischoff, told People she was saddened by the news.
"This is a very sad situation. I'm keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers, especially the victim and his family."Soules competed on Andi Dorfman's season of The Bachelorette in 2014, then landed the coveted role of The Bachelor the following year. The still-single Bachelor fan favorite went on to compete on Season 20 of ABC's Dancing with the Stars and has appeared on subsequent seasons of The Bachelor as an advice giver.
While his reality TV resume is impressive, The Bachelor star is no stranger to the slammer, especially when it comes to driving-related incidents. Bustle reported that The Bachelor alum has pleaded guilty 13 times for charges for a variety of vehicle-related offenses over the past 20 years, including driving under the influence, driving with an open container of alcohol, and speeding.Radar Online unearthed The Bachelor star's Iowa State Court records, which revealed that he was first arrested in 1998 when he was just 16 years old after he was caught speeding. The future Bachelor was also charged three times with underage drinking in 2001, and was later nabbed for driving with an open container, running a stop sign, and was even arrested after a fight on Valentine's Day. Until now, The Bachelor star's most severe run-in with the law occurred n 2006, when he was found guilty of drunk driving and was fined $500 and put on probation. Chris's last charge was relatively minor; it was for a registration violation in 2010. But the Bachelor has been fined and sentenced to community service several times in the past, and after the 2006 arrest, he was placed on one year of probation.
The Bachelor star was in possession of alcoholic beverage containers at the time of the fatal crash, according to TMZ, but he was reportedly not charged with driving under the influence.
Even with his lengthy rap sheet, fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette grew to love Soules, and many thought of him as a prince, even if he was no angel. He was so beloved by ABC that he landed a coveted role on Dancing With the Stars immediately after his Bachelor season ended. His engagement to his final Bachelor girlfriend, Whitney Bischoff, ended shortly after that.
After news of The Bachelor star's shocking arrest broke, Bachelor Nation took to social media to express concern and ask for prayers for the victim's family, but many others slammed the reality star for his poor decision to leave the fatal accident scene.The Bachelor producers and alums of the ABC reality franchise have not yet spoken out on Chris Soules' arrest.
Take a look at the video for more on the former Bachelor star and his shocking arrest.The Bachelor returns to ABC early next year.
[Featured Image by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Friends of Hudson River Park]