"The guy next to me was killed. It was horrific," the Food Network star recalled on Brooke Shields' podcast, sharing that he woke up "handcuffed to the gurney" in the hospital after the accident.
Guy Fieri is reflecting on a scary, life-changing experience he had in his late teens.
While appearing on Tuesday’s episode of Brooke Shields’ podcast, Now What? with Brooke Shields, the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host detailed getting in a car accident when he was 19, recalling how he was falsely accused of drinking and driving.
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“I was in a fatality car accident when I was 19 when I was in college,” began Fieri, who was attending the University of Nevada Las Vegas at the time. “I wasn’t driving, I was in the backseat. And unfortunately, I was with a bunch of guys and … we were drinking.”
“We were down in the drag boat races in Las Vegas. This guy saw a cop, and he was drinking. We were camping not a half a mile way. And he took off, and we got chased, and the car flipped. And the guy next to me was killed.”
“It was horrific. Everybody was messed up,” he added. “And I did go Flight for Life in the helicopter and the whole thing.”
The Guys Grocery Games star said when he woke up in the hospital, he discovered not only that he was “handcuffed to the gurney” as the other people who were in the car claimed he was the one behind the wheel.
“They were all in the military together,” he recalled. “They were in a campsite, next to the campsite I was at.”
The Food Network host said went on to share that he had to call his parents and tell them what happened, adding that they had to hire an attorney and “fight this potential situation.”
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“They came to the college, and arrested me in the dorm room,” Fieri said. “It was going bad after worse because everybody was saying that I was, you know… Anyhow, the cops knew I wasn’t [responsible].”
He then recalled how his father reacted. “My dad told me, ‘Cut the s—. You’re not invincible. This is for real now. You’re not in Ferndale. You’re not in your hometown anymore. You’re in Las Vegas…you got to focus,'” Fieri told Shields.
“I was like, Okay — my family didn’t have any money. I’m not the smartest kid. Didn’t get the best grades,” he added. “But if I’m going to win, I’m going to win based upon how hard I play and how disciplined I am and how driven and how controlled I am. And if I do that then I have a better chance at getting through this.”
Fieri — who shares sons Hunter, 26, and Ryder, 17, with wife Lori — said the incident ultimately became a teachable moment for him, and he passed down what he learned to his children.
“It’s things I teach my kids all the time. Don’t trust anybody to drive you. Don’t trust what anybody puts in a drink and gives it to you. Don’t trust if anybody tells you that this is safe or this is smart,” he said. “You have to be the master of your domain. You have to be in control of your environment.”
“That is a Now What moment,” Shields said in reply.
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