Riverdale's K.J. Apa: What He Learned from His Car Accident — and Why He Takes Full Responsibility for It
“That was just a one-off accident, and it was a mistake on my part,” Apa said about his September late-night car crash
K.J. Apa is taking full responsibility for his late-night car accident in September.
“That was just a one-off accident, and it was a mistake on my part,” the Riverdale actor told Esquire. “I should have pulled over and gone to sleep instead of battling my way home. But I learned from it.”
Apa, who stars as Archie Andrews on the CW series, fell asleep at the wheel during his almost hour-long drive home, according to The Hollywood Reporter, after working a long day on set. The accident allegedly occurred after midnight outside of Vancouver, Canada, where the series is filmed and regularly shoots into the wee hours of the morning. His vehicle reportedly struck a light pole, destroying the passenger side; it was determined that his car could not be fixed.
“It was a blessing in disguise. I came out unscathed, and I thank God that I’m okay — it could have been a lot worse,” Apa told Esquire.
Although the New Zealand native’s vehicle was badly damaged, Apa didn’t suffer serious injuries as a result of the accident, which didn’t affect his filming schedule.
“The schedule didn’t change,” Apa said. “It’s still a requirement for the actors to drive to work, which is fair enough. The crew works longer than we do, and they have to drive back and forth to work every day.”
WATCH: CW’s Riverdale In 30 Seconds
For Apa, the crash was a wake-up call.
“It puts things in perspective for actors on other shows; when you’re driving home, you’ve got to be mindful and make sure your mind’s right and that you’re not tired,” he shared. “I was really lucky the production was there for me and helped me the whole way, which made me feel looked after.”
In a previous statement to PEOPLE in September, Warner Bros. Television disputed parts of THR‘s report.
“First and foremost, we are extremely grateful that KJ Apa was uninjured during his recent accident,” the statement reads. “Secondarily, we want to specifically address the characterization that conditions on the set of Riverdale are of concern. We have a large cast of series regulars, and our actors do not work every day. On the day of the accident, KJ worked 14.2 hours. The previous day he worked 2.5 hours, and the day before that he worked 7.7 hours. KJ has repeatedly been informed about making production aware if he is tired or feels unsafe, and if so, either a ride or hotel room will be provided for him. The accident occurred last Thursday. Additionally, it is untrue that KJ was taken to the hospital. He was treated by first responders on the scene and released by them. We also sent a doctor to his home later that same day for a follow-up to confirm his well-being.”
“The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio,” WBTV added. “Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild–mandated turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members. In accordance with industry standard policy, if any cast or crew member feels tired or unsafe at any time after working, the Studio will provide a taxi, a driver or a hotel room upon request. This is communicated to all cast and crew, both in writing and verbally, at the beginning of production and is reiterated continuously throughout the duration of production.”
Riverdale airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on CW.