Victim's Relative Defends Former Bachelor Chris Soules After Deadly Car Crash: 'It Was a Freak Accident'
"It was a freak accident," Robert Roepke, the victim's relative, tells PEOPLE
A man related to the victim’s family is coming to Chris Soules‘ defense saying the deadly car crash the former Bachelor was allegedly responsible for early Tuesday morning was nothing more than a “huge mistake.”
“I believe it was a very tragic, sad accident that took the life of a guy that was just coming home from work,” Robert Roepke, whose daughter is married to the victim’s son, exclusively tells PEOPLE. “This is corn planting time, the best time of the year for a farmer. Kenny was working on one of the farms just a little north of Aurora and I think he was just coming home. For Chris, what happened was just a freak accident.”
“Chris comes from a good family and is still well-vested in farming. He’s got a great life ahead of him,” he adds. “This is a serious bump in the road and I don’t know about his [alleged] alcohol issue but I just know that this was a huge mistake. It’s something he’s going to have to deal with for the rest of his life. It just ended very tragically.”
The35-year-old was arrested at 1:16 a.m. on Tuesday after the fatal incident which occurred about 15 miles south of Soules’ hometown of Arlington, Iowa. According to KWWL.com, a pickup truck and a tractor were involved in the crash, with both vehicles going southbound. Officers say Soules’ truck collided into the rear of the tractor, sending both vehicles into roadside ditches. The victim was Kenneth Mosher, 66, of Aurora.
“Ken was just a guy – a husband, grandfather, a dad,” says Roepke. “He loved farming and cared about the land. He was a good guy. He was doing his business, taking care of business. The Mosher’s are in shock and still trying to process it all.”
According to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, Soules was temporarily in custody and was charged with allegedly leaving the scene of a fatal car accident that left one individual dead. Soules was not charged with driving under the influence.
However, court documents obtained by PEOPLE confirm that Soules was allegedly in possession of alcoholic beverages and containers. (A rep for Soules did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment on these specific allegations.)
WATCH: The Bachelor’s Chris Soules in Jail After Arrest for Allegedly Leaving the Scene of Deadly Crash
Additionally, according to a video of Soules in court, the reality star was allegedly unwilling to cooperate with police, forcing them to procure a warrant to secure his cooperation with the investigation.
Hours after his arrest, the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office confirms Soules was released after he posted his $10,000 bond for bail.
“I don’t know what happened there. I know if he had seen him passing on the road, they’d probably greet each other. They lived 10 miles apart or something like that but they had land that bordered each other that they farmed. I think, yeah they knew each other, but they were in different social circles,” says Roepke.
A spokesperson for the former Bachelor star sent the following statement to PEOPLE: “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.”