INDEPENDENCE — Prosecutors are again resisting defense attorneys’ calls to drop charges against reality TV star Chris Soules.
Soules, 35, of rural Arlington, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident in the April crash that killed farmer Kenneth Mosher, 66, of Aurora.
Authorities allege Soules rear-ended Mosher’s tractor with his pickup and then left before law enforcement arrived and refused to exit his home until authorities had obtained a warrant.
The defense said Soules called 911 from the scene and identified himself and then performed CPR on Mosher until determining the procedure was useless. He allegedly left after medics arrived.
In recent months, Soules’ attorney’s have asked the court to dismiss the charges.
On Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Scott Brown and Buchanan County Attorney Shawn Harden fired back, arguing the defense omitted that the state’s hit-and-run law also “intends to guarantee that law enforcement can have an opportunity for a face-to-face interaction with every driver involved in a fatal accident, as soon as possible.”
Prosecutors said the law requires drivers to remain at the scene unless they need to seek aid or report the crash and doesn’t allow drivers to simply disappear into the night after making a phone call.
“The primary indication of the legislature’s intent on this issue must be its decision not to impose a requirement to remain when nobody is killed. … Something about a fatal crash is different in the legislature’s eyes, justifying the imposition of this unique duty to remain at the scene,” Brown and Harden wrote in the brief.
In fatal crashes, Brown and Hadren argued, authorities need to gather drivers’ accounts while they are still fresh, establish with certainty the identity of those involved and stop motorists who pose an ongoing danger.
They said that extends into determining if alcohol was involved. Prosecutors said when the law was written, lawmakers foresaw the likelihood of drunken drivers leaving an accident scene to sober up before talking to police.
“Soules made a decision that would have been irrational if there was an innocuous explanation for the collision — but would have been in his rational self-interest if he happened to be intoxicated. The legislature could easily predict that intoxicated drivers would act that way, and likely enacted this statute to deter/punish that abhorrent behavior,” prosecutors wrote in the brief.
Soules hasn’t been charged with being intoxicated in the crash, and defense attorneys have said in court records blood and urine tests found no indications of alcohol or drugs. Prosecutors said earlier Soules was trying to hide details about possible alcohol involvement in the collision.