Evangeline Lilly says it was a “miracle” to see her friend Jeremy Renner moving around in a wheelchair following his near-tragic snowplow accident.
The 52-year-old actor was crushed on New Year’s Day in Lake Tahoe by his 14,000-lb Pistenbully snowcat machine, leaving him with more than 30 shattered bones, but Evangeline – who starred alongside Jeremy in 2008 movie ‘The Hurt Locker’ – says he was “laughing with friends” when she went to see him “the other night”.
She said: “He was in a wheelchair. He has recovered like a mo-fo.
“I walked in his house and got chicken skin, ’cause I was like, ‘Why are you mobile? Why are you mobile? What’s happening?’
“I expected to sit at his bedside and hold his hand while he moaned and groaned in pain and wasn’t able to move.
“He was wheeling himself around, laughing with his friends. It’s a miracle, a straight-up miracle.”
Evangeline admitted it was an “intense” visit to Jeremy’s house, but told how her pal is “incredibly brave and strong” and now has a “journey to go through”.
She added to Access Hollywood: “He’s made of something really tough, that guy. You’ve always been able to see that in him. He is recovering incredibly, and I’m so grateful.
“He had a near-death experience that was highly traumatic – and he was awake for the whole thing. It really has stuck with me. It’s been days and I’m still having moments where some of the stuff he told me that he experienced and retelling me the story of what went on and things he could hear and things he could see…
“He’s got a journey to go through now. That’s what nightmares are made out of, and he lived through it and he’s on the other side now.”
Last month, it was revealed Jeremy was trying to shield his nephew from injury when he was almost killed by his snowplow.
A sheriff’s office incident report said about the near-fatal accident: “The Pistenbully snow groomer began sliding causing Renner to exit the vehicle without setting the emergency brake.
“Although the Pistenbully had some mechanical issues, it is believed based on our mechanical inspection that the parking brake would keep the Pistenbully from moving forward.
“When Renner attempted to stop or divert the Pistenbully to avoid injury to (his nephew), he was pulled under the vehicle by the track and run over.”
The Marvel star was airlifted to the hospital where he received treatment in the intensive care unit for more than two weeks and underwent at least two surgeries before being allowed home.