Jeff Wittek got candid about the stunt that nearly took his life last year. He is a member of the YouTuber collective, The Vlog Squad, run by David Dobrik. In the ongoing series, Wittek details the horrific events that happened during a trip to Utah, where Dobrik caused him an injury that almost took his life.
How Did it All Start?
In the series titled, Don’t Try This at Home, Wittek breaks down the series of events that led to the excavator incident that caused him a severe injury. Before jumping into the events, he briefly talks about his past in which he participated in a lifestyle of crime, debauchery, and run-ins with the law at a really young age. At the age of 16, he got a job at a barbershop where he would often skip school to work long hours. He loved the idea of making fast money and did whatever it took to make it. Fast forward a few years, Wittek finds himself escaping his hometown of Staten Island, NY and moved to Miami, where he continued the lifestyle he held back home — ultimately leading to his arrest where he was facing life in jail. Wittek was caught with hard drugs and avoided jail time due to a “technically” — the police had entered his home without a warrant. He reflects on his multiple arrests, which didn’t stop him from moving forward, and led him to where he now resides in Los Angeles, California.
There, he found success after meeting David Dobrik and created a YouTube channel that has amassed millions of views.
What Exactly Happened to Jeff?
Over the course of the past year, fans were very much aware that something was going on with Wittek. His YouTube comment section became filled with questions about his appearance. He recalls the worst part of it all was not being to tell anyone. “I’m just following doctor’s orders to save my eyes and sometimes it f**king sucks when people are talking s**t and nobody knows the real story,” he said. Over 9 months after the incident, he was ready to speak out on the situation on his own terms. In the second part of the series titled, HOW I BROKE MY FACE, he reveals how Dobrik played a major role in the accident.
During a Vlog Squad trip to Utah, the gang met up at Bear Lake, where Dobrik positioned an excavator in the middle of the 1-foot deep lake. There he planned on filming over-the-top content for his YouTube channel. In the footage, Dobrik is seen controlling the excavator and holding a camera. Before Wittek takes a ride on the hanging rope tied to the claw of the excavator, Corinna Kopf (friend of the two) almost slips from the rope and is visibly angry at Dobrik telling him that he “takes things too far.” Wittek then volunteers to perform the same stunt. Dobrik proceeds to carelessly swings him around, much faster than he did to Kopf and causes him to hit the side of the excavator.
The accident left him with torn ligaments in his leg, a broken foot, a broken hip, his skull shattered in 9 places, and a shattered eye socket. At first, he makes light of the situation, cracking jokes but the next few months would not be easy for him.
Footage of the accident is blurred out and is available to subscribers of Witteks Patreon to see uncensored.
After only spending a week off recovering, Wittek jumped straight back into making content. He hosted Dixie D’Amelio on Jeff’s Barbershop, a series for his YouTube channel, where he showed up as if nothing had happened. He did all this while bruised, stitched up, and wearing a neck brace.
For a while, Wittek “stayed mum” on the situation, but behind closed doors, this affected him in a much deeper way. “I felt stupid I even got myself in that situation and that I even allowed somebody to have control of my life. I’ve played this out over and over again. I’m in this by myself now. I’m the one that has to deal with this,” he said. He spent his days monitoring his face in the mirror and left with vision problems. He reflects on seeing Dobrik appear on his social media feed, living life as if nothing had happened. This caused him to have feelings of resentment towards him. “It made me resent him, made me resent seeing his face, made me not want to go online. Made me not want to open YouTube, it would just put me in a bad place.” he recalls, “Him being praised for something that he accomplished that week, and I’m sitting here in my house in the worst place I’ve ever been.”
Casey Neistat, a YouTuber and friend of Wittek, offered a few words of wisdom to him, having also gone through a life-changing accident in his mid-20s.
What Does David Have to Say About the Situation?
At the end of the third episode titled, AFTER THE ACCIDENT, Dobrik is teased to appear in the fourth installment and a talk with him and Wittek is expected to take place. “David, he, didn’t sign up to nearly kill his friend and lose everything that he’s worked for. Nobody asked for this, but this is what happened,” Wittek said. Dobrik, however, has taken some responsibility for the accident he caused. He paid for all of Wittek’s medical expenses back in Utah and even provided a bit of comedic relief for him, dressing up as The Dark Knight‘s Joker in a nurse outfit, per Wittek’s request.
Dobrik, who has been under fire recently for sexual assault allegations, has not spoken on the incident prior to Wittek’s video.
All episodes for the series can be found here.