Jeremy Renner shares gory and brutal details of snowplow accident: ‘My eyeball was out’

Jeremy Renner has recounted the gory details of the injuries he sustained when he was run over in a freak accident by his seven-ton snowplow last year.

In January 2023, the Hawkeye star, 53, was clearing snow from his neighbors’ driveways when he lost control of the 14,000-pound PistenBully snowcat. As he tried to jump back in and regain control of it, he got caught up in the tracks and pulled under.

He was airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent several surgeries to treat his injuries.

“[I] broke 38 bones,” Renner revealed during a Wednesday (22 May) appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. “It was brutal,” he admitted.

When asked how much of his body was now made up of metal, the actor patted the lower part of his leg, saying: “Well, this is metal.” He added that “half my face is metal” and “all the right side of my back is metal”.

“There was 14 breaks in the ribs,” he explained. “And you see your eye, with your other eye, because my eyeball was out.”

The Avengers actor continued: “So you just have weird things go through your head. It’s like, ‘Well, I guess that’s real, but I’ll worry about that later.’

Jeremy Renner attends the ‘Hawkeye’ Special Screening in 2021 (Getty Images)
Jeremy Renner attends the ‘Hawkeye’ Special Screening in 2021 (Getty Images)

“And I look at my legs. They were all twisted up, and ‘I’ll worry about that later’ because I got to worry about breathing first, right?”

In disbelief, Fallon asked if Renner had panicked during the incident. “No, you can’t. You die then,” Renner replied.

Turning the near-death experience into a positive lesson, he said: “[You’re] being tested to your limits, your physical limits, your spiritual limits, your emotional limits. It’s like, I won’t have a bad day for the rest of my life. It’s impossible, right? There’s that gift.”

Jeremy Renner on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube)
Jeremy Renner on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ (The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon/YouTube)

He further reflected on how it taught him not to panic and how to focus. “In order to walk, you have to put one foot down and then another foot in front of it, and then you’re walking. Just like breathing, I had to exhale with all my might, so I can suck air back in,” he shared.

“Didn’t know I had a popped lung and all this other stuff going on, but I just had to breathe. If I didn’t breathe, then I would’ve been gone.”

It’s been over a year since the near-fatal accident, and Renner has returned to work. Speaking in a recent interview with Good Morning America, he discussed how it felt being back on set of his Paramount+ crime thriller, Mayor of Kingstown.

“Starting the season this year at the beginning of the year was a little dicey, strength-wise, but by the end of it, usually you’re pretty shattered energy-wise but I feel pretty strong,” he said. “I had to physically and emotionally lean on the cast and crew to get through the days. They compensated with scheduling and stuff, so I could get stronger.”