Jeremy Renner Feared Being ‘Just a Spine & Brain’ After Snowplow Accident
On Thursday, Diane Sawyer appeared on “Good Morning America,” where she teased more of her highly anticipated interview with Jeremy Renner.
In a preview clip, Jeremy is seen walking to Diane with the help of a walker as he greets her at his home in Los Angeles.
With a smile on his face, he tells her, “I just got on my feet yesterday.”
Renner nearly died January 1 when he was crushed by a snowplow near his home in Nevada.
When asked if he remembered the pain, Jeremy shares, “All of it. I started moving my legs and I said, ‘That leg is really messed up. That leg’s gonna be a problem.’ I’m thinking, like, ‘What’s my body look like? Am I going to be just a spine and a brain, like a science experiment? Is that my existence now?’”
Renner gets emotional recalling the moment he told his family that he was sorry in sign language.
Despite what happened, Jeremy told Diane he doesn’t want to take on a victim approach. He stresses, “I shift the narrative of it being victimized or making a mistake. I refuse to be f**king haunted by that memory that way.”
Jeremy’s neighbor Rich Kovach also sat down with Diane to recall what he saw after the accident.
Kovach, who was the one to call 911, remembers being overwhelmed by the “amount of blood.” He says, “He was just in such pain and the sounds that were coming out of him. There was so much blood in the snow.”
“And then when I looked at his head, it appeared to me to be cracked wide open,” Kovach goes on. “And I could see white, I don't know if that was his skull... Maybe it was just my imagination, but that's what I thought I saw.”
Kovach says he then asked his partner Barb Fletcher to come help. She comments, “I didn’t know who it was. I just saw somebody laying there and just a lot of blood coming from his head and just grabbed one of the towels — it was still folded — and just applied pressure. I could tell he was really struggling to breathe.”
Diane also spoke with Jeremy’s nephew Alex Fries, who reports he lifted his uncle’s arm so he could breathe.
“Just breathe, just breathe,” Fries remembers saying. "I stood over him in this crouched position, holding his arm for the entire time — from seconds after that guy came over, it was just that. I was just locked in on him."
On the day of the accident, Renner was trying to help Fries free his truck after a massive blizzard.
Jeremy’s mom Valerie also sat down with Diane, getting tearful about the moment she saw him lying helpless in a hospital bed.
“He was intubated,” she recalls emotionally. “His breathing was horrible.”
“Jeremy Renner: The Diane Sawyer Interview — A Story of Terror, Survival, and Triumph” airs Thursday, April 6, at 10 p.m. EDT on ABC, and the next day on Hulu.