Actor Jeremy Renner had been helping to dig out a car that a family member had gotten stuck in the snow when he was injured in a snowplow accident over the weekend, Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam said Tuesday. Renner was airlifted to a hospital and listed in critical but stable condition.
According to Balaam, Renner was able to get the vehicle unstuck from the mountain road in the Reno, Nevada, area using his personal PistenBully snowplow. But when he got out to speak to the family member who had been driving, the snowplow started to roll. Renner then attempted to jump back into the driver’s seat of the snowplow and was run over, Balaam said.
The sheriff said they do not believe Renner was impaired at the time, and there is no indication of foul play.
“We believe this is a tragic accident,” Balaam said.
Renner’s publicist Sam Mast said that the actor is “making positive progress and is awake, talking and in good spirits.”
“He remains in ICU in critical but stable condition,” Mast said in a statement Tuesday. “He is overwhelmed by the showing of love and support. The family asks for your continued thoughts while he heals with his close loved ones.”
While Tuesday’s press conference was underway, Renner posted a message to Instagram from his hospital bed: “Thank you all for your kind words. I’m too messed up now to type. But I send love to you all.”
Renner underwent surgery after suffering “blunt chest trauma and orthopedic injuries” in the accident, Mast said Monday in a statement to CBS News. He remained in the intensive care unit following the surgery, Mast said.
Balaam said Tuesday that the 911 call came in around 9 a.m. and first responders arrived around 30 minutes later. Although it had stopped snowing at the time of the accident, the mountain road was closed after roughly three feet of snow had fallen the night before, stranding several other cars and making it difficult for emergency crews to get to the scene.
Renner was then airlifted to a hospital around 10 a.m., Balaam said.
Balaam said that Renner had also been using the snowplow to help dig out his neighbors.
“He was being a great neighbor and plowing those roads,” the sheriff said.
Following the accident, several neighbors rushed to help Renner and brought him towels before medical personnel could arrive, Balaam said.
Renner is a two-time Oscar nominee, receiving a best actor nod for his role in “The Hurt Locker” and a best supporting actor nomination for “The Town.” The 51-year-old actor is perhaps best known for portraying the superhero Hawkeye in the Marvel cinematic universe, which includes multiple “Avengers” films and the Disney+ series “Hawkeye.”