INDEPENDENCE — Reality TV star Chris Soules performed CPR on an Aurora farmer after rear-ending a tractor, and he continued the procedure until it was clear the effort was futile, according to court records.
Soules, 35, of rural Arlington, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash in the April collision that killed 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher. Details of the CPR effort were included in a defense motion filed Monday again asking the court to throw out the case.
“Four other individuals were on the scene with Mr. Soules nearly immediately, but Mr. Soules nevertheless took it upon himself to try to revive Mr. Mosher. Tellingly, after blood began coming from Mr. Mosher’s mouth and Mr. Soules stopped CPR, none of the other four individuals on the scene restarted CPR,” defense attorney Gina Messamer wrote in the motion.
One person was kneeling next to Mosher and could have resumed CPR, and three others were nearby, according to the defense.
“The fact that these bystanders did not restart CPR indicates they did not believe it would have been beneficial to Mr. Mosher. Their unanimous inaction confirms it was reasonable for Chris not to continue CPR,” Messamer wrote in the motion.
Authorities said Soules left the crash scene on Slater Avenue before law enforcement arrived and then refused to exit his home until authorities had obtained a search warrant.
Defense attorneys said Soules called 911 to summon help to the scene, identified himself to dispatchers and provided assistance before leaving. In the past, his attorneys challenged Iowa’s leaving-the-scene statute on the grounds its requirement to return to the scene or report the surviving driver’s location after leaving is unconstitutional.
On Monday, the defense argued the statute’s requirement to remain at the scene wasn’t violated in the Aurora crash.
“Because the minutes of testimony indisputably establish Mr. Soules contacted law enforcement, provided identification and ensured medical providers were attending to Mr. Mosher before he departed the scene, he did not commit the charged offense and it must be dismissed,” Messamer said in the motion.
She noted the law is worded to allow drivers to leave to seek help or report the collision, but because drivers can now call for assistance with cell phones, the wording is ambiguous.
“Here, ambiguity arises because the first sentence … does not define how long a surviving driver must remain at the scene. … The legislature would not have intended for a surviving driver to remain at the scene forever if the driver had no cause to leave to seek aid or notify law enforcement,” she wrote in the motion.
A hearing on the motions to dismiss is scheduled for Nov. 27. Trial for the case is tentatively set for January.