Jeremy Renner was trying to stop a six-tonne snow plough from crashing into his nephew when he was run over, a police report says.
The 52-year-old Marvel actor was using the PistenBully machine to help his nephew Alexander Fries free his Ford pickup truck from the snow when the plough began to roll down the hill.
He broke more than 30 bones when he was sucked under the plough’s tracks on New Year’s Day as he attempted to get into the cab to stop it moving. Mr Renner sustained injuries to his “torso, face, extremities and head”.
The actor’s nephew began “screaming for help” as he did not have his phone.
Two neighbours then provided towels and assistance to Mr Renner until emergency services arrived at the scene near the Mount Rose Highway, close to the Nevada-California border in the US.
A report from Washoe County deputy Garret Leone said that after he had arrived at the scene of the accident, he spoke to Mr Fries – who had been the only witness.
“They had a chain connected to the back of the PistenBully and to the front of the Ford pickup. They got the pickup truck out of the driveway and Alexander parked in the middle of the street,” Mr Leone said.
“While running towards the truck, Alexander observed Jeremy jumping on the tracks of the PistenBully to get in the cab of the vehicle. Alexander said Jeremy got caught on and was ultimately run over,” Mr Leone said.
Having not put the handbrake on the plough – which runs on a track – it started to roll directly towards Mr Fries.
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NBC reported that authorities said there were mechanical issues with the vehicle but it is believed the handbrake would have stopped the plough from moving forward, if Mr Renner had put it on.
The star has shared numerous updates on his condition since the accident. In one selfie on 3 January, he described himself as “too messed up” to type.
In another, sharing a photo of him receiving treatment from a hospital bed, he thanked fans for their support.
“I want to thank EVERYONE for their messages and thoughtfulness for my family and I…” he wrote.
“Much love and appreciation to you all. These 30 plus broken bones will mend, grow stronger, just like the love and bond with family and friends deepens. Love and blessings to you all.”