Bollea was involved in a serious accident in Clearwater, Florida, on the evening of August 26, 2007. Bollea and three members of the pit crew for his drifting team, using two of his father's cars — a yellow Toyota Supra and a silver Dodge Viper — were traveling to a steakhouse when the single-vehicle crash occurred at Court St. and Missouri Ave., near downtown Clearwater. The yellow Supra, which Bollea had been driving in the outside lane, fishtailed and spun across the road, crashing into the median strip and into a palm tree. The impact of the collision "destroyed the entire car". The posted speed limit on that stretch of road was 40 mph, but a reconstruction of the crash by police shows that the Supra was traveling "in excess of 60 mph". Danny Jacobs — the pit crew member driving the silver Viper — told police that the speed of the two cars was "not more than 70".
Bollea told medical workers that wet roads were the cause of his crash. He and his passenger, 22-year-old John Graziano, were flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bollea was released from care on August 27 and said to be "OK". Graziano, a U.S. Marine and a former member of Bollea's pit crew, was not wearing a seatbelt. The eye and brain injuries he sustained are expected to leave him in a nursing home for the rest of his life.