Jeremy Renner is refusing to be "haunted" by the memory of his life-threatening snowplow accident.
In his first interview, "Jeremy Renner: The Diane Sawyer Interview -- A Story of Terror, Survival and Triumph," airing Thursday, April 6, at 10 p.m. ET on ABC, the "Avengers" star reflects on the accident and shares how he wants to move forward.
TRAILER: Jeremy Renner: The Diane Sawyer Interview -- A Story of Terror, Survival and Triumph
"I shifted the narrative of it being victimized or making a mistake or anything else," he said. "I refuse to be f****** haunted by that memory that way."
On New Year's Day of 2023, firefighters and paramedics responded to a 911 call regarding Renner. The caller, Renner's neighbor, Rich Kovach, told the 911 dispatcher on the phone that Renner had been "run over by a snowcat" and asked them to send help.
"It was blood, the amount of blood, and then he was -- he was just in such pain," Kovach told Sawyer. "And the sounds that were coming out of him -- and 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. And I could see white, I don't know if that was his skull, if it -- maybe it was just my imagination but that's what I thought I saw."
Kovach recalled calling his partner Barb Fletcher to help in that moment too.
"I just saw somebody laying there, and just a lot of blood coming from his head and just grabbed one of the towels," Fletcher said. "It was still folded and just applied pressure. I could tell he was really struggling to breathe."
Also on the scene with Renner was his nephew Alex Fries, 27, who said he was holding onto Renner's arm in an attempt to help him breathe.
Renner said that he "was awake through every moment."
"I started moving my legs," he said. "I said, 'Oh, that one -- that one's really messed up. Oh yeah, that thing's gonna -- that's gonna be a problem.'"
"And I'm thinkin' like, 'What's my body look like? Am I just gonna be like a spine in a brain like a science experiment?'" Renner recalled. "Is that my existence now? I sorta felt like I just 'What am I -- what's my existence gonna be like?"
When Renner was finally transported to the hospital, he was initially intubated and underwent several surgeries. Unable to speak, Renner said he gestured, "I'm sorry" in sign language to his family.
"I was signing that -- 'cause I am, I'm sorry," Renner said.
He said he is grateful to the family who has stayed by his side throughout his recovery, both physical and mental.
"This is what I talk to my family about from all their perspectives, which are horrifying, that I put upon them," Renner added. "What we just endured. That's real love. It's suffering. But that feeds the seeds of what love is."