Shocking animation shows how Jeremy Renner was almost crushed to death (2023)

A shocking new animation shows the moment Jeremy Renner was dragged beneath a seven-ton snow cat at his Nevadaranch on New Year's Day.

The 52-year-old Oscar-nominated actor was lucky to survive the horrific accident and has been left walking using a stick following months of rehabilitation.

He also revealed he thought he was going to die and considered end of life care, adding 'don't let me live on tubes on a machine'.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer, broadcast on Thursday night, he and his family reconstructed the events leading up to the incident.

Renner said he and his nephew, Alex Fries, were trying to clear the road outside the house so the family could go skiing.

Fries was trying to maneuver a pickup truck, and Renner helped with the snow plow. They got the pickup unstuck, and Renner was moving the snow plow out of the way when it began skidding.

Jeremy Renner, 52, is seen showing Diane Sawyer, the events leading up to his being crushed by a snow plow on New Year's Day at his Nevada home

Renner contemplated his existence wondering whether he'd be 'just a spine and a brain', he said

Renner is seen in the reconstruction leaning out of the cab to see if his nephew was out of the way

Renner fell, and was then dragged under the tracks of the snow plow

His nephew Alex Fries was trying to move a pickup truck at the time

He could not see Fries, and was concerned his nephew was about to get hit by the seven-ton plow.

Renner lent out the cab, which he told Sawyer was 'kind of like driving a car with your foot outside the car.'He added: 'It was my mistake.'

The actor fell, and then tried to get back in the cab while the tire tracks were still moving, but was sucked under them.

'That's when I screamed, when I went under the thing - 'not today, motherf*****,'' he said.Sawyer asked if he remembered the pain.

'Oh, all of it. I was awake for all of it,' said Renner. 'I was on asphalt and ice. It feels like you imagine it.I could see my eye from my other eye. I was seeing stars.'

Fries and Renner before the accident

Blood soaked snow lays bare the horrific accident that took place near Renner's Lake Tahoe, Nevada home

He suffered 30 broken bones, a collapsed lung and had his liver pierced by a shattered rib in the horrific, death-defying accident on New Year's Day

Fries saw what happened, and ran frantically to get help. 'When I ran up to him, I didn't think he was alive.

'It's pretty terrifying to see the person that you look up to so much like that. Then his head kind of turned, and this breath came out of it.'

He came across Renner's neighbors, who rushed to their aide - desperately trying to stop the actor, who they did not recognize, from passing out and succumbing to his injuries.

He broke12 ribs on one side, and two on another - he suffered a broken right knee, ankle and right shoulder; a collapsed lung; a broken jaw and eye socket; and a pierced liver.

In total, he broke more than 30 bones - 15 percent of his bones were affected.

Yet remarkably, Sawyer's team was sent a video of Renner recently walking down stairs using only a walking stick for assistance.

He said he intends to make a full recovery, which he said was due to 'stubborn belief.' 'I've lost a lot of flesh and bone,' he told Sawyer.

'But I've been refueled with love - and titanium.'Renner said he was happy to leave stunts in any future films to the stunt professionals.

His doctors said his recovery was due to being young and healthy, plus having strong drive.They said it helped he was 'down to earth, with a super support structure.'

Alexander Fries, who was by his uncle's side, remembers telling him to breathe and was with him through his recovery too

Renner said he refuses to be victimized by the situation and is focused on recovery

Renner said he would do the same again, because the alternative was having the snow plow crush his nephew. 'I refuse to be f****** haunted by that memory,' he said.

In his first interview since the accident, he revealed he signed 'I'm sorry' to his family who sat by his side as the Avengers star recovered.

'I moved my legs, and I said, that one's really messed up. That leg is going to be a problem,' he said.

'What does my body look like? Am I just going to be like a spine and a brain like a science experiment? Is that my existence now? What is my existence going to be like?'

Sitting in his wheelchair speaking to ABC's Diane Sawyer, Renner held back tears as he revealed the moments in hospital when he couldn't even speak to his family.

'I was signing that I'm sorry, cause I am sorry,' he said before speaking of how his mother never left his side.

'She's reading Stephen King, some horror thing. But she reads it like she's reading Dr. Seuss to me,' he said.

His mother, Valerie Cearley, added: 'I just wanted him to hear my voice.'

Cearley broke down when she recounted the moment that she heard of her son's accident and said 'his breathing was so horrible.'

Pictures from the scene showed a pool of blood where Renner had been crushed.

His neighbor,Rich Kovach, remembered the moment he made the harrowing 911 call that would ultimately save his life.

'The sounds that were coming out of him, there was so much blood in the snow,' he said.

'When I looked at his head, it appeared to me to be cracked wide open, and I could see white, I don't know if that was hisskull, maybe it was just my imagination, but that's what I thought I saw.'

Valerie Cearley, Renner's mom, broke down when she recounted the moment that she heard of her son's accident and said 'his breathing was so horrible'

Pictures from the scene showed a pool of blood where Renner had been crushed, his neighbor, Rich Kovach, remembering the moment he made the harrowing 911 call that would ultimately save his life. His partner Barb also recounted her memories

Renner had been using a Snowcat plow to try to help his adult nephew, Alexander Fries, pull his car out of deep snow when he jumped out, forgetting to put on the emergency brake

His partner,Barb Fletcher, said she didn't know who it was but can remember 'a lot of blood coming from his head.'

'I grabbed one of the towels that was still folded and just applied pressure. I could tell he was really struggling to breathe,' she said.

Fries, who was by his uncle's side, remembers telling him to breathe.

'Just breathe, just breathe.That's it. I stood over him in this crouched position holding his arm for the entire time, from seconds after that guy came over,' he said.

'It was just that. I was locked in on him.' Renner said he refuses to be victimized by the situation.

'So I shift the narrative ofbeing victimized, or making a mistake, or anything else,' he said.

'I refuse to be haunted by that memory, that way that's what I talk to my family about, all their perspectives, which are horrifying.

'We just endured, that's real love. Suffering, but that feeds the seeds of what love is.'

Renner broke 30 bones including both ankles, his right knee, his right clavicle, and eight ribs. He suffered a collapsed lung and his liver was pierced by one of his broken ribs.

His ribcage has been completely rebuilt using metal which will stay in his body for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile there are metal plates in his face, rods in his legs, bands and screws in his jaw and screws in his skull.

His sister Kim told Sawyer that Renner was in so much pain he was 'delirious', and crying because he was unable to sleep.'We just endured,' said Renner.

'That's real love. Suffering, but that feeds the seeds of what love is.' Asked what he sees when he looks in the mirror, Renner replied: 'I see a lucky man.'

He has not returned to the Nevada home, and has not been able to thank Rich Kovach and Barb Fletcher.

Sawyer rang the couple on FaceTime, and Renner was able to say thank you. 'It took an army to keep this old sucker alive,' he said, visibly emotional.

'I'm so grateful. Without you all I'd be dead.'I can't wait to see you all, and we'll share a meal.'


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