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Chris Soules Makes First Public Appearance After Pleading Not Guilty Following Fatal Car Crash

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Ray Tamarra/GC Images; Buchanan County Sheriff's Dept.

Chris Soules, who has remained out of the public eye following his arrest in Iowa on April 25, posed for a photo with an auto parts employee on Thursday.

Two days before the sighting, the farmer and former Bachelor star — who appeared on season 19 in 2015 — had entered a not guilty plea to the charge of leaving the scene of a fatal car collision in April. The crash left 66-year-old Vietnam veteran Kenneth E. Mosher dead, according to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office.

On Thursday, the employee captioned her Instagram selfie with a smiling Soules, “My sweet customer today 😀 #chrissoules.”

She followed up her Instagram — which received some negative comments — with an emotional, four-minute message on her Facebook account on Saturday, emphasizing that life can change “in an instant.”

“This is a kind-hearted man. He is a farmer. I was able to let him know that I pray for him, and that meant a lot to me because I just wanted to tell him that, and I got that opportunity finally,” she said.

Soules was not charged with driving under the influence, though court documents reveal Soules was in possession of alcoholic beverages/containers when police found him at his home after the crash.

According to documents previously obtained by PEOPLE, they claim that the reality star was seen purchasing alcohol from a convenience store shortly before his accident and that he didn’t properly explain the reasons for having partially consumed open alcoholic beverages in his vehicle.

Soules’ legal team released a statement following the crash, stating that Soules contacted law enforcement and clearly identified himself at the time of the crash, attempted to resuscitate the victim and remained on scene until paramedics arrived.

“While initial reports suggested Soules fled the scene, the 911 call confirms that Soules in fact was the one who contacted law enforcement immediately.  During the call, he clearly identified himself and explained his role in the terrible accident,” the statement reads.

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“Soules attempted to resuscitate Mr. Mosher and remained on the scene with him until emergency medical personnel arrived. Soules’ attorneys are exploring the possibility of a gag order to prevent further misinformation from prejudicing Soules’ right to a fair trial.”