‘The Challenge’ Star Nelson Thomas Finally Addresses His DWI That Caused His Near-Fatal Car Crash; Apologizes To Fans Who Donated to His GoFundMe

Nelson Thomas has had a very traumatic 2023, and now The Challenge star is opening up about the life-changing car accident he caused by drinking and drinking, and apologizing to his fans who feel he misled them by initially omitting information about the accident’s cause.

In an Instagram post on Saturday, Nelson— who has undergone multiple surgeries since his car accident and is now facing amputation of his foot— acknowledged that he was wrong to accept money via a GoFundMe started after his accident while purposely withholding that his drinking and driving was the cause of the near-fatal car crash.


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A post shared by Nelson Thomas (@_nelsonthomas)

(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 save his foot and ankle.)

“Hello, I’m Nelson Thomas, and on March 5, 2023, my life took a transformative turn,” Nelson’s caption began. “I’ve reached a point of self-forgiveness, ready to step into the light and not let my past define me. I’ve been granted a second chance, and I’m committed to living it to the fullest.

“I aim to inspire by sharing my story, emphasizing the importance of not drinking and driving. A typical Sunday turned life-altering after a car crash, leading me to face the consequences of my actions. I’m fortunate that no one else was harmed, but I acknowledge the price I’m paying…”


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A post shared by Nelson Thomas (@_nelsonthomas)

Back in October, The Ashley broke the news that Nelson had been arrested on September 28 for Driving While Intoxicated, a charge that stemmed from the night of the car accident on March 6. According to documents obtained by The Ashley, Nelson’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) was so much higher than the legal limit that he received an enhancement on his DWI charge. Nelson was officially charged with a Class A misdemeanor, due to his BAC being over 0.15. 

While Nelson publicly revealed many details about the accident, he remained quiet about the fact that the accident was caused because he drove drunk. He did not inform his fans that he had been arrested for it, either. In addition, a GoFundMe started for him raised over $58,000.

After fans found out that Nelson had failed to inform them that his accident was caused by his own drinking and driving, many expressed anger and demanded their money back.

In his Instagram post from Saturday, Nelson addressed the situation. 


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A post shared by Nelson Thomas (@_nelsonthomas)

“Today, I openly admit my imperfections and the mistake I made,” he wrote. “I’ve found closure with the legal aspects and won’t carry this burden into 2024. I extend my gratitude to friends, a supportive community, and those who generously contributed during my challenging times. I apologize to those who thought I overlooked them through the GoFundMe.

“A friend, who only knew about my hospitalization due to a car accident, created it with positive intentions, aware that I would go through hard times and need help,” he continued. “I initially withheld this information due to legal considerations. Those who requested a refund have received it.

“Thank you to those who contributed, and I appreciate the ongoing prayers. Now, it’s time for self-compassion, leaving behind suffering and embracing this second chance at life.”


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A post shared by Nelson Thomas (@_nelsonthomas)

Several of Nelson’s cast mates from ‘The Challenge’ and Are You The One? left comments on Nelson’s post.

“I appreciate the accountability & so proud of you sending you lots of love and prayers,” wrote Kam Williams.

“Proud of you Nelly and how much you’ve grown over the years!” commented Johnny Bananas. “You’ve got a lot of people in your corner. F**k the haters, drown out the noise and focus on yourself brother.”

“2024 going to be your year brother. Always another door opening somewhere,” wrote Ethan Diamond.

Based on court records, it appears that Nelson’s case is still active. He is required to appear in a Texas courtroom on January 8 for a pre-trial hearing. 

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

(Photos: MTV; Instagram)


  1. F**k Bananas. Another cheating liar. Hopefully now these perpetual clowns brought back by mtv, over and over are done.

  2. He’s sorry he got caught, not sorry he did it.

    He’s sorry he got called out for taking money, multiple times, but especially after everyone realized he got caught, not sorry he took money. He only refunded those who went through the process in gofundme to ask for a refund (and those people are not refunded right away, btw, for some it will easily take weeks or longer to get their money back). The gofundme isn’t the only money he was given, either.

    He’s a POS who won’t really be held accountable for his actions, drunk drivers often aren’t. It’s not the first time he’s chosen to drive impaired, it won’t be the last time. He willingly got behind the wheel impaired, it wasn’t an accident (and he wasn’t just a little bit impaired, either). His whole “self-forgiveness” and “not taking these burdens into 2024 with me”, is something addicts and alcoholics who have no intent to ever change say, when they’ve been told to say that by a lawyer to try and cover their asses better. His incident was very public, which means his faux apology has to be too. He hasn’t learned a damn thing.

    He needs to refund every last dime that was raised for and by him, not wait for people to ask for refunds. He can, easily, afford his own bills, I don’t know why anyone would think he can’t. I said that the first time his story aired, he was not, and is not, living in the poor house, he has money. I don’t even care one iota about his “suffering”. It’s self-inflicted and merely a consequence of his chosen actions.

  3. Did he really thank someone for FILMING his rescue before thanking those who risked their own lives by actually rescuing him?!

  4. I could be wrong but I think Nelly came out with this statement solely because he is going to a pre trial hearing on 1/8. I’m sure his lawyer told him that accountability and genuine apologies were the way to go. But I don’t think he is holding himself accountable or sorry for endangering everyone on the road with him driving shitfaced. I do think he has been through a tremendous amount of pain because of this accident and may end up losing his foot. While I empathize that doesn’t take away from the fact that this could have been avoided altogether if he wouldn’t have gotten behind the wheel drunk. He did this to himself. He only has himself to blame.

  5. “F&ck the haters, bro”?
    Yeah, the folks that think this guy did something terrible and don’t stand blindly by? Those haters? Smh.

    This is the guy who smiled in the mug shot? He knew it was a joke and he probably wouldn’t get any time. He didn’t look scared of gel or cops or worried about anything at all, he was having a blast.
    Better not tell Bar about this!

  6. I imagine causing an accident do to refusing to pay for an uber, and then for a very long time refusing to admit that you cause the accident due to you wanting to party and then drive drunk.

    Those people who pulled him out risked their own lives because he couldn’t just get an uber and come back for the car the next morning.

    And then trying to make yourself the victim still because you hurt and you might lose your foot due to getting wasted.

    I would be pissed too, he probably used some of that money to pay for a lawyer, to prevent him from facing real consequences.

    And all his sycophants who praise him for taking “accountability”. He didn’t take accountability, he was found out and then apologized. that’s not accountability. He lied and continued to lie until the news reported he was arrested for having a BAC over the legal limit. And then once that came out he did damage control. If he really felt bad he would return ever cent, not just the people who could sue him for misleading them into giving money, which I’m sure the lawyer who he funded through the gofundme told him he could get in way more trouble for doing.

    Drinking and driving is selfish, its always been selfish it will always be selfish.

  7. I don’t blame people for being upset after finding out Nelson was drinking and driving. He’s not a victim, and he should have shut down the go fund me if his friend made it for him. It’s lying by omission.

    I’m sorry to hear he’s had surgeries, a wound vac…etc. the entire situation could have been avoided by getting an Uber. $58k go fund me vs booking a $20 ride home. He’s lucky no one else was hurt.

    1. Not taking an Uber home is going to cost him more than a bad reputation. It’s going to cost him his foot. Hard lesson to learn

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