‘The Challenge’ Star Nelson Thomas Arrested & Charged with DWI For Allegedly Being Drunk On Night Of His Near-Fatal Car Crash (Exclusive Details)

More information is being released regarding the car accident that almost killed The Challenge star Nelson Thomas in March and left him with devastating injuries.

On Monday, it was revealed that Nelson was arrested on September 28 for Driving While Intoxicated, a charge that stemmed from the night of the car accident on March 6. In additional court documents obtained by The Ashley, it’s shown that Nelson was charged with DWI due to his being allegedly over the legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) on the night of his car accident. 

Documents exclusively obtained by The Ashley state that a warrant was issued for the arrest of Nelly T on June 29, 2023.

As The Ashley previously told you, Nelson was pulled out of his burning vehicle in March after crashing it in Austin, Texas. He was helped at the scene by Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn and three other bystanders, whom he credits with saving his life. Since then, Nelson has undergone numerous hospitalizations, surgeries and physical therapy sessions to try to regain full use of his ankle and foot. 


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A post shared by Nelson Thomas (@_nelsonthomas)

Last month, though, Nelson revealed that his ankle has not healed and that he was facing possible amputation. (He is currently undergoing stem cell therapy.) 

In the affidavit and application for arrest warrant (first posted on Vevmo and also obtained by The Ashley), alleged details of Nelson’s near-fatal accident are revealed.

“Multiple [911] callers reported a vehicle had struck a pole and was now on fire with a person unconscious still seated inside…” the report states, adding that cops arrived to find K.J. Osborn and the others standing over Nelson after they pulled him out of the car and laid him on the ground.

“The male was bleeding from his mouth and had blood all over his pants,” the report states. “EMS arrived and began treating the injured male. He was later identified as Thomas, Nelson…”

The report states that the witnesses saw Nelson’s car lose control, go off the road and crash into a bridge. When the officers spoke to Nelson on the night of the crash, he stated that he lost control of his car after another car swerved in front of him. 

The officer “noted that Nelson had bloodshot, glassy eyes,” and that Nelson admitted to have “2-3 mixed alcoholic drinks.” The officer spoke to Nelson again at the hospital that night.

“This time [the officer] detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from [Nelson’s] breath,” the report stated, adding that only one Standardized Field Sobriety Test could be conducted on Nelson on the night of the crash, due to the severity of Nelson’s injuries.


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A post shared by Nelson Thomas (@_nelsonthomas)

The report states that the officer performed the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test on Nelson, and, based on the results, the officer “formed the opinion that Nelson was intoxicated, having lost the normal use of his mental and physical facilities due to the introduction of alcohol into his system.” 

Nelson was reportedly placed under arrest for DWI that night, but was released from custody because he needed treatment of his injuries. A blood sample was taken from Nelson that night, and on June 8 a search warrant was executed for the results of that test. The results showed that Nelson’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was reportedly 0.178. (For reference, the legal limit for driving in Texas is 0.08.)

Because Nelson’s BAC was reportedly so much higher than the legal limit, he received an enhancement on his charge. Nelson was officially charged with a Class A misdemeanor, due to his BAC being over 0.15. 

The Ashley can confirm that, on July 13, Nelson asked the court to set his bond at $5,000. (A judge granted the request that same day.)

“Defendant is dealing with a serious medical condition in which he does not have full mobility of one of his legs,” Nelson’s attorney wrote in his motion related to his bond, which was obtained by The Ashley.

. “…Defendant is eager to get this warrant taken care of and asks this court to set a bond amount so that he can accomplish this as quickly as possible.”

Nelson had his mugshot taken on September 28, and it was later posted to austinmugshots.net. He paid his $5,000 bond on that day. 

Earlier this month, Nelson filed to request a change in his bond conditions. He asked the court to remove the requirement that his car have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed. He stated in the court paperwork that he currently does not own a car, and does not have access to a vehicle to drive. 

A judge approved Nelson’s request on October 16.

Nelson’s next hearing is set for November 16. 

Shortly after Nelson’s accident, a GoFundMe was set up to help the ‘Challenge’ star pay his medical bills. As of press time, the fundraiser has garnered more than $58,000.

He has yet to publicly comment on the documents’ release. He has never commented publicly on what caused the accident.

RELATED STORY: ‘The Challenge’ Star Nelson Thomas Says He’s Facing Amputation Due To Ankle Injury Sustained in Near-Fatal Car Accident Earlier This Year: “I Gotta Make My Choice”

(Photos: MTV; Travis County PD; Instagram)

17 Responses

  1. People got shit when they said he deserved what he got, lmao. He’s damn lucky he didn’t hurt anyone else. I said it before and I’ll keep saying it, the gofundme was a farce. He does not need that money, even if he doesn’t have the insurance he would have with the show. He can more than pay for his own damn expenses, and people that fell for his bs are gullible as all get out. Not only did he not need it, but he sure as hell doesn’t deserve ANY help. It was obvious that he was under the influence and that’s how he managed causing this with almost no other cars around in perfect weather. The car didn’t crash itself!

    People who drive under the influence should have their licenses revoked for life, period. No second chances, no recourse. Not only that, but it should also be a mandatory jail sentence, 5-10 years probation, and at least a year of community service (such as with a company that cleans up accident scenes, give them a real taste of what they can cause).

    People might think that’s harsh, but what’s really harsh is the loss of a loved one or friend because someone thought they should get behind the wheel impaired. There is nothing at all harsh about holding people accountable for their actions and making them face reality. Laws aren’t there to deter people, they never have been. They are there to tell law enforcement and courts what to do once laws are broken. Maybe if we had harsher penalties, it might send a better message than the slap on the wrist we give now.

  2. I feel for Nelly – no doubt he is processing trauma and still coping with the physical impact of his crash. Unfortunately my empathy does not yield sympathy. I do not feel badly about his legal circumstances. Just because he is potentially dealing with amputation does not mean he should not face legal consequences for being double the drinking limit.

    I agree with others – his mugshot photo is tone deaf for someone that nearly killed himself and is lucky he didn’t hurt anyone else.

  3. There he was begging people to fund his medical bills all the while knowing he was driving impaired. Ain’t this some place we live?

  4. I’ve said this the entire time. Thought it was super suspicious that he never talked about what happened.
    Tho he is paying the price with all of the physical issues, he should also pay the price legally.

  5. I felt bad for his severe injuries. Truly. I had suspicions that he was drunk but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Seeing his shit eating grin in his mugshot bothers me. Maybe he didn’t care enough about his own life to drive drunk. But he could have killed other people. The 3 people that saved him from a burning car could also have been killed if the gas tank had exploded. Is that even something that crosses his mind?

    1. I HATE it when people smile in their mugshots like it’s school picture day. Like seriously, mate, you almost killed yourself and could have killed others. Why is that something to smile about? Look miserable, look pissed but don’t smile like you’re happy about what you did.

      1. The sympathy really does drop bc in one expression you can see this man doesn’t feel the gravity of his decisions.

      2. The only way it would be appropiate to smile in a mugshot is if you got into with someone & were defending your child. I’d glad smile then, but yes him smiling when he could have killed innocent people is just wrong!

      1. He a lucky guy. Drove drunk. Car brust into flams. 1. Strangers pulled him out.2. Was able to save his leg to full mobility. And 3.got other to pay his medical bills when he can afford it since he works when he not on the challenge. And 4. he going to get a knight sentces because he got hurt.

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