AceShowbiz - A relative of a deadly car crash involving %cChris Soules% has spoken up in defense of the former "The Bachelor" star. Robert Roepke, whose daughter is married to the victim's son, thinks the unfortunate event "was just a freak accident."
"I believe it was a very tragic, sad accident that took the life of a guy that was just coming home from work," he 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."
Robert adds, "Chris comes from a good family and is still well-vested in farming. He's got a great life ahead of him. 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."
Chris was arrested on early Tuesday, April 25 after fleeing the scene of the fatal incident that claimed the life of 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher on Monday night. The 35-year-old rear-ended his pickup truck into a tractor near Aurora, sending both vehicles into roadside ditches and resulting in the death of Kenneth who drove the tractor.
Robert also says of Kenneth, "Ken was just a guy - a husband, grandfather, a dad. He loved farming and cared about the land. He was a good guy. He was doing his business, taking care of business. The Moshers' are in shock and still trying to process it all."
Chris appeared in court on Tuesday morning and was charged with leaving the scene of a car crash that left one individual dead. He was released from jail after posting $10,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 P.M. on May 2. He faces up to five years in prison if found guilty for a Class D felony.
In a statement, his representative Stan Rosenfield said, "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."