Jeremy Renner Takes Blame for Snowplow Accident: ‘It’s My Mistake and I Paid for It’ (Video)

“I feel bad that my actions caused so much pain,” the Marvel actor told ABC News’ Diane Sawyer

“Hawkeye” actor Jeremy Renner opened up about his devastating snowplow accident on New Year’s Day in a new sit-down interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, saying that the incident was “my mistake” and that “I paid for it.”

Renner told Sawyer that he and his 27-year-old nephew Alex were attempting to tow a Ford Raptor out of the snow using his 14,330-pound Sno-cat. After successfully getting the Raptor out, Alex disconnected a chain connecting the two vehicles, and the Sno-cat began to slide on the ice. Worried about his nephew, Renner stuck one foot out of the plow as he looked for Alex. But he forgot to set the parking brake and proceeded to lose his footing and fell out.

“I just happened to be the dummy standing on the dang track a little bit, seeing if my nephew was there. You shouldn’t be outside the vehicle when you’re operating it, you know what I mean? It’s like driving a car with one foot out of the car,” Renner said. “But it is what it was. And it’s my mistake, and I paid for it.”

He tried to jump back in to disengage the Sno-cat to prevent it from sandwiching his nephew, but ended up getting run over instead.

Alex was able to hop into the Raptor before the plow hit the car, sending it into a snow bank. He was able to safely climb out and ran to get help from Renner’s neighbor Rich Kovach after seeing his uncle in a pool of blood.

ABC played the 911 call, in which Kovach could be heard saying the actor had “been crushed.”

“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 his skull, maybe it was just my imagination, but that is what I thought I saw. So I knew it was extremely serious,” Kovach told Sawyer. “He had some blood coming out of his ears, I know for sure, and then his eye, it looked like it had been punched out.”

Renner said he remembers “all of” the pain, noting that he was “awake through every moment.”

“It’s exactly what you would imagine it would feel like,” he said. “I was on asphalt and ice. I wish I was on snow. It felt like someone took the wind out of you.”

Renner was eventually airlifted to a hospital in Reno, where doctors said he was in a “maximum level of trauma.” Doctors told ABC News that the entire right side of Renner’s chest was fractured and that he had more than 30 broken bones in various parts of his body.

“Eight ribs broken in 14 places. Right knee, right ankle broken, left leg tibia broken, left ankle broken, right clavicle broken, right shoulder broken. Face, eye socket, jaw, mandible broken. Lung collapsed. Pierced from the rib bone, your liver — which sounds terrifying,” Sawyer recounted.

The actor was unable to speak when his family arrived at the hospital, but was able to sign “I’m sorry.”

“I am sorry. I did that to them,” he said. “It’s my responsibility. I feel bad that my actions caused so much pain.” 

At one point, Renner recalled typing out his “last words to my family” in a note on his phone.

“Don’t let me live on tubes on a machine and if my existence is going to be on drugs and painkillers, just let me go now,” he recalled asking.

Renner, who is at home recovering months after the incident, is now able to use a walker. He told Sawyer that he only was able to get on his feet a day before she arrived for the interview.

When he looks back at the incident, Renner says he refuses to “have that be a trauma and be a negative experience.”

“That is a man that I’m proud of, because I wouldn’t let that happen to my nephew, so I shift the narrative of being victimized or making a mistake or anything else,” he added. “I refuse to be f—ing haunted by that memory that way.”

Renner will appear in person for the first time since the accident at the premiere of his upcoming Disney+ show “Rennervations” on April 11. According to the ABC News special, the actor told Sawyer that he hopes to be walking when fans see him on the red carpet.

Renner’s interview with Sawyer is available to stream now on Hulu.