Jeremy Renner reveals 'no regrets' over snowplough crush and 'would do it again'

The Marvel star was trying to save his nephew when he was pulled under the six-tonne machine

Jeremy Renner has opened up about the accident that left him with more than 30 broken bones. AP
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Jeremy Renner has said he has "no regrets" about his serious snowplough accident earlier this year, and would "do it again" to save his nephew.

The Marvel star, 52, said he was "so grateful and forever in debt" to those who had helped him in the aftermath of the incident, which took place near his US home on New Year's Day.

Renner was crushed by his own six-tonne snowploughing machine as he tried to help his nephew, Alexander Fries, free another vehicle.

He was later air-lifted to hospital in Reno, Nevada, with significant injuries, that included more than 30 broken bones.

In an interview with journalist Diane Sawyer, broadcast on US network ABC on Thursday, he recalled the incident and detailed his ongoing physical and mental recovery.

He told Sawyer he had been a "dummy" for stepping out of the vehicle while it was moving, saying: "It was my mistake, and I paid for it."

Asked if he remembered the pain, he replied: "Oh yeah, I was awake through every moment.

"It's exactly like you imagined it would feel ... It's hard to imagine what that feels like ... It felt like someone took the wind out of you.

"Too many things are going on in the body to feel. Pain is everything — it's like if your soul could feel pain."

Recalling his thoughts at the time of the incident he said he looked at his leg and saw it was "really messed up" and it was going to be a "problem".

He said he thought: "What's my body going to look like? Am I just gonna be like a spine and a brain like a science experiment?"

But Renner added that he refused to be "haunted" by the incident, despite being "triggered" by the painful memories of what had occurred.

"Yeah, no regrets. I would do it again," he said.

"I refuse to have that be a trauma and it be a negative experience. That is a man I'm proud of because I wouldn't let that happen to my nephew.

"So shift the narrative of being victimised or making a mistake or anything else. I refuse to be haunted by that memory that way."

The special programme also included parts of the 911 call made following the incident, as well as footage of Renner in hospital and physical therapy, with doctors praising both his physical and mental strength.

The actor said he had used sign language to say "I'm sorry" to his family because he felt bad his own actions had caused "so much pain".

"I did that to them, it's my responsibility you know? I felt bad that my actions had caused so much pain," he told Sawyer.

"This is what I talk to my family about from all their perspectives, which are horrifying, that I put upon them. What we just endured.

"That's real love. It's suffering but that feeds the seeds of what love is."

Becoming emotional he went on to describe how he had also written down what he believed might be his "last words" to his family while at the hospital.

"Don't let me live on tubes on a machine ... on drugs and painkillers. Just let me go now," he said.

Renner has since returned to his Los Angeles home to continue his recovery, keeping fans updated on social media.

During the programme, Renner spoke to the first people that came to his aid — his neighbours Rich Kovach and Barb Fletcher.

Fletcher said she had felt as though she had "lost him for a second" as she cradled the actor's head in the snow and watched him turn "a grey-green colour".

"I really felt he had passed away for a few seconds," she said.

Speaking to the pair on the phone, Renner told them: "It took an army to keep this old sucker alive ... and I'm so grateful and forever in debt.

"If I was alone, if no one was there, I'd be dead in front of your place."

Renner has vowed to return to public life soon and recently announced a new show on Disney+, Rennervations, in which he helps repurpose used vehicles to help struggling communities.

When asked about returning to do stunts as a Marvel superhero, he laughed and replied: "I'm okay with a stunt guy doing it.

"I'm 52 ... I've done enough. I've lost a lot of flesh and bone in this experience, but I've been refuelled and refilled with love and titanium."

Updated: April 07, 2023, 5:55 AM