'I thought many times that it would have been easier on the other side.'
Chris Soules is still struggling with the fallout from his fatal car accident in April 2017.
Following the 37-year-old former Bachelor star's recent two-year probation sentence for leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, Soules is recalling the "dark times" he faced after Kenneth Mosher died when Soules' truck hit his tractor-trailer.
"The trauma of being involved in [the accident] is something I cannot describe. I think about it every day," he tells People of the Aurora, Iowa, crash. "There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could have done more or change the outcome of what happened. My outlook on life has changed forever."
"I saw some dark times," he says. "I’m in the middle of nowhere as it is and I was even deeper in the isolation and the guilt. I thought many times that it would have been easier on the other side."
As for the accident itself, Soules recalls his initially uneventful drive out to pick up one of the workers on his family's farm, which ended up resulting in tragedy.
"The next thing you know, I’m coming to inside my pickup," Soules, whose civil settlement with Mosher's family prevents him from discussing specific details of the crash, says. "I heard a voice saying, 'Call 911.'"
Soules did just that, even administering CPR on Mosher, 66, per the 911 dispatcher's instructions.
"I was giving chest compressions and continued to do CPR until eventually I spat out [Mosher’s] blood," Soules says. "He coughed up blood in my mouth. At that point I thought it didn’t seem to be doing a lot of good. I was scared. And I remember thinking he might not make it. I remember praying."
Soules ended up leaving the site of the accident in a different truck, something he blames on being "out of my mind."
"I felt like I did everything in my power when I was there and I didn’t know what else to do," he says. "I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t know anything. I just knew it was really bad and I was scared."
On his way home, his parents told him to call a lawyer, who eventually instructed him not to speak to police without an attorney present.
"I just followed his instructions," Soules says. "And I wasn’t expecting police at my door. In hindsight, I was charged with a crime. But I really didn’t know that there were grounds for arrest at that point."
Though Soules knows that he'll "live with [what happened] forever," he is determined to "carry on, and as a result of the tragedy, do something bigger and better with my life."