Chris Soules has made his first red carpet appearance since he was involved in a fatal 2017 car accident.
On Friday, the former Bachelor star, 38, smiled for photos at KIIS FM’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2019 concert in Los Angeles while wearing a maroon shirt and gray pants.
At the event, Soules told Entertainment Tonight that his red carpet appearance didn’t mean he was “really returning to the spotlight,” adding that he was there to watch the show with pals, and fellow Bachelor Nation members Ashley Iaconetti, Jared Haibon, Caelynn Miller-Keyes and Dean Unglert.
RELATED: The Bachelor’s Chris Soules Opens Up About His Involvement in 2017 Fatal Accident
Soules has largely remained out of the spotlight since April 2017, when his truck rear-ended a tractor driven by 66-year-old Kenny Mosher near his family’s farm in Iowa.
After calling police and administering CPR, Soules got into a different truck and drove himself home once paramedics arrived, which eventually resulted in his arrest and a charge of leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality. Though a felony, the charge was later amended to leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury, which is an aggravated misdemeanor.
Mosher, a war veteran, died after being taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Soules — who received two years of probation in August — recalled the incident to PEOPLE in September, and said that even two-and-a-half years on, the crash was never far from his mind.
“The trauma of being involved in is something I cannot describe,” he said. “I think about it every day. … My outlook on life has changed forever.”
“I’ll live with forever,” added Soules. “But I will carry on, and as a result of the tragedy, do something bigger and better with my life.”