Oscar-nominated actor Jeremy Renner said that he was to blame for a snowplow accident that almost killed him on New Year's Day and that he was sorry for what he had put his family through.
In an interview that aired Thursday on Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS.N) ABC network, Renner said that he was driving the plow after using it to pull one of the family's trucks out of the snow and onto the pavement.
Renner said that when the plow started to slide on the ice, he worried about his nephew Alex, who had just taken the chains off that connected the truck and the plow. Renner took one foot off the plow to turn around and look at Alex, but he forgot to set the parking brake.
The actor then slipped and fell out of the cab of the plow.
“When you're driving, you shouldn't be outside the car, right? It's like driving with one foot out the window “Renner told ABC News reporter Diane Sawyer while he was in a wheelchair.
But it was what it was, he said. “And I had to pay for it because it was my fault.”
Renner said that he tried to jump back into the snowplow to stop it because he was afraid it would roll back and crush his nephew. He stepped on the moving wheel tracks of the plow, which threw him forward. The car then ran over him, breaking more than 30 of his bones, crushing a lung, and piercing his liver.
The 52-year-old actor is best known for playing the Marvel superhero Hawkeye in the movie “Avengers“. Neighbors who helped him said they found him covered in blood, breathing slowly, and with a crack in his head.
Renner said that when he woke up in the hospital, he showed his family a sign that means “I'm sorry” in sign language.
“I'm in charge of it,” Renner said. “I'm sorry that what I did hurt so many people.”
Doctors used titanium rods and screws to fix his broken ribs. They also used metal to rebuild an eye socket in his legs and face.
A walker was used to help the actor get around. He still has to go to therapy every day for hours because of his injuries.
Renner was nominated for an Academy Award in 2008 and 2010 for his roles in “The Hurt Locker” and “The Town.” Both times, he was nominated for best actor and best supporting actor.
He will go back to Hollywood in person on Tuesday for a red-carpet event for his TV show “Rennervations.” In this show, he helps communities in need by giving old vehicles like buses new uses.
Renner said that his family's support was what helped him get through the snowplow accident.
He said with a laugh, “Love and titanium have filled and refueled me.”