Marvel actor Jeremy Renner was helping a stranded family member “stuck in the snow” when the 51-year-old was run over by his own snowplow on Sunday morning, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said.
The horrific accident critically injured Renner, but he was in stable condition on Tuesday afternoon, his publicist said.
Renner appeared to be conscious and personally posting to social media from the hospital late Tuesday. “Thank you all for your kind words,” he wrote in an Instagram update. “Im too messed up now to type. But I send love to you all.”
The caption on the post accompanied a photo of him in a hospital bed with visible facial injuries.
It took just over an hour for Renner to be placed on a helicopter for medical transport after a 911 call was placed at 8:55 a.m., Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said at a press conference.
“Just because of the weather, all the snow we’d gotten, they had to find a safe landing zone,” he explained of the delay.
Officers from multiple agencies had had to negotiate their way up Mt. Rose Highway to get to Renner, whose property lies on a private road several miles from the summit. After the highway was buried under three feet of snow, it was closed and littered with more than a dozen abandoned vehicles, according to Balaam.
In the meantime, neighbors brought out towels for the injured actor, providing basic aid as they waited for help to arrive. The sheriff explained that Renner had been clearing his personal vehicle—driven by a relative—out of the snow in his snowcat, which weighs 14,330 pounds.
He successfully towed the car, then got out of his plow to speak to his family member, Balaam said. The snowcat started to roll at that point, and Renner was “run over” as he tried to climb back inside, he added.
The sheriff emphasized that authorities believed it to be “a tragic accident,” and do not suspect foul play.
Initially reported only as a “weather-related accident,” details have slowly leaked about the circumstances of the incident, which left Renner in a Reno, Nevada ICU with “blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries.”
Prior to the accident, Renner was clearing driveways of snow that’d blanketed the area on New Year’s Eve so family that was visiting could leave, CNN reported, citing Renner’s publicist.
The report said that Renner’s loved ones were with him when the accident occurred.
The Hawkeye and Hurt Locker star was quickly airlifted after one of his neighbors, a doctor, applied a tourniquet to his leg that stopped the extensive bleeding until he reached a hospital in Reno, TMZ reported.
Video of the airlift was obtained by TMZ, and Cannon Brown, a worker at a nearby snowboard shop, told The Daily Beast that he saw the helicopter evacuate Renner on Sunday.
Around 6 to 12 inches of snow fell between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day below 5,000 feet in Reno, and up to 18 inches at higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service’s local office there.
The accident happened in Washoe County, Nevada, where Renner has a home near the Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe resort about 25 minutes outside of downtown Reno—a place Renner regularly posts about on his Instagram.
Six weeks ago, Renner posted a video of himself doing donuts in the snow in a Jeep. More recently, he posted a series of videos to his Instagram story that showed him driving his massive Snowcat plow, which was involved in Sunday’s accident.
“Who is excited for the Holidays?” Renner wrote on top of one video.
Renner has reportedly undergone two surgeries to address “extensive” injuries, CNN reported Monday. He was reportedly being treated at Renown Regional Medical Center, the only trauma center in Northern Nevada on Tuesday.
Renner was the only person injured in the incident, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve told the Reno Gazette Journal that Renner helping a stranded motorist was not out of character for the actor, who is an honorary deputy sheriff.
“He was helping someone stranded in the snow,” Schieve said. “He is always helping others.”
The mayor said Renner was actively involved in helping the community, but he decided to do so mostly under the radar.
“He’s always calling and saying, ‘Hey Mayor, what do you need?’” Schieve said.
Sheriff Balaam added that a “very generous” Renner had been a frequent participant in the county’s annual “Shop with the Sheriff” charity event in the past, where he said kids called the actor “Hawkeye.”
“Sometimes the adults, they’re even more excited than the kids,” he joked.
Renner’s publicist released a statement on behalf of his family on Monday, in which they expressed “their gratitude to the incredible doctors and nurses looking after him, Truckee Meadows Fire and Rescue, Washoe County Sheriff, Reno City Mayor Hillary Schieve and the Carano and Murdock families.” “They are also tremendously overwhelmed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and support from his fans,” the statement added.
A video posted in December 2021 showed Renner driving a large Idaho Norland snowblower with the caption: “I have so much respect for Mother Earth, and Mother Nature … I expect to lose the fight but I’ll always give it my best shot.”
Brown told The Daily Beast that Renner is “super nice” but maintains a low profile.
“I'm not too sure that too many people know that he even lives in Reno,” Brown said. “That comes [as] a shock to a lot of people that I bring that up to.”
Marilyn Jankowski, a neighbor to Renner, said the same about the Marvel star.
“He waves to people if he’s driving in or out, and we wave back, which is what all the neighbors do,” she said.
Jankowski recalled that Renner once kept a firetruck on his property when the region was dealing with wildfires a few years ago.
“It made me feel a lot more secure knowing that there was a fire truck there ready to go,” she said.
Renner, a two-time Oscar nominee, is currently starring in the Paramount+ drama Mayor of Kingstown and has been promoting his newly announced hot sauce that’s branded with his name in Glass Onion.
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