Ohio residents who watch reality television programs may be familiar with Chris Soules. The 37-year-old Iowa resident was the star of the 19th season of the hit ABC show 'The Bachelor" and was a contestant on the 10th season of its sister show 'The Bachelorette." However, his career was dealt a severe blow in April 2017 when he was involved in a fatal car accident and then arrested for fleeing the scene.
According to a Buchanan County Sheriff's Office report, Soules' pickup truck hit the rear of a tractor that was being driven by a 66-year-old farmer. The man was airlifted to a nearby trauma center but was pronounced dead upon arrival. Records reveal that Soules called 911 from the scene and attempted to resuscitate the injured man, but deputies say that he was nowhere to be found when they arrived a short time later. Soules resolved the criminal case against him by entering into a plea agreement. However, his sentencing has been delayed due to questions about how the pre-sentencing investigation was conducted.
Soules was found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol in 2006, and media outlets have speculated that the reality television star fled the scene to avoid another DUI charge. The family of the man killed by Soules filed a wrongful death lawsuit that could have raised more questions about the television star's drinking, but a statement released by the plaintiffs on May 22 indicates that the litigation had been settled. According to the statement, Soules and his parents have agreed to pay the family $2.5 million to be released from liability.
When pursuing a wrongful death claim, a personal injury attorney may study police reports carefully for evidence that could be used to establish negligence or persuade the defendant to settle. Police reports could reveal enough to meet the burden of proof in a civil trial.