Reno, Nevada – Actor Jeremy Renner was seriously injured while using a snow tractor to free a snow-bound driver on a private mountain road near Lake Tahoe, Reno Police Officials said on Tuesday it appeared to be a “tragic accident”.

The 51-year-old “Avengers” star was critically injured when he was run over by his own snow cat after using it to free a vehicle driven by a family member stuck in 3 feet of fresh mountain snow on New Year’s Day. Washoe County Sheriff Darin Baram said.

Baran told reporters that the investigation is continuing, but there is no indication that Renner was harmed during Sunday morning’s incident.

“At this point in the investigation … we believe this was a tragic accident,” the sheriff said. “He’s a good neighbor and he’s plowing those roads for his neighbors.”

The accident left Rainer with chest and orthopedic injuries in critical but stable condition, according to publicists and sheriff officials, who said Rainer was flown by medical helicopter to a Reno hospital about 25 miles (40.23 kilometers) away.

Around the same time that reporters met with Baran on Tuesday, Renner posted a photo of himself in a hospital bed along with a message on Instagram.

“Thank you all for your kind words,” it said. “I’m too messed up to type right now. But I send love to you all.”

Balaam said Renner used his Pistenbully snowplow, a 7-ton vehicle he owns, to tow away another personal vehicle that was snow-covered on a private road he shared with neighbors.

“After successfully towing his personal vehicle from where it got stuck, Mr. Renner emerged from his (snow cat) to speak with his family,” Balaam said. “The Pistenbully started rolling. To stop (it), Mr Rainer attempted to climb back into the driver’s seat. It was at this point that Mr Rainer was knocked down.

The sheriff said the snowcat has been impounded and investigators are checking “for any mechanical failure and why it started rolling.”

“He’s helping people who are stuck in the snow,” Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve told the Reno Gazette Monday night. She said she was friends with the actor and was called shortly after the accident happened near the Rose Hill Freeway that connects Reno to Lake Tahoe.

“He was always helping people,” the mayor told the paper.

Baran said Tuesday that it took more than 30 minutes for first responders from Reno to cross miles of snow-covered roads and reach Reina from a private road off the highway.

As many as 20 cars were abandoned on the road, and three feet of fresh snow fell overnight, slowing the response of fire trucks and ambulances.

A publicist for Reiner said in a statement Monday that he suffered blunt trauma to the chest and orthopedic injuries and remains in critical but stable condition in the intensive care unit after surgery at Reno Hospital.

Renner stars as Hawkeye, a sharp-shooting member of the superhero Avengers in Marvel’s sprawling film and TV universe.

He was nominated twice for an Academy Award for acting, back-to-back for The Hurt Locker and The Small Town. Renner became a household name for his portrayal of an Iraqi bomb disposal expert in 2009’s “The Hurt Locker.”

2012’s The Avengers cemented his status as part of Marvel’s grand narrative ambitions, with his character appearing in several sequels and getting his own Disney+ series, “Hawkeye.”

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