TV presenter Phil Spencer has spoken out following the death of his parents in a car crash at their home, calling it “horrendous” but taking strength from the fact they were together when they died
Spencer’s father Richard, 89, and mother Anne, 82, were both killed in the accident, which took place at their farm in Kent on Saturday.
The Location, Location, Location star posted a message on Instagram, along with a recent photo of his mum and dad, paying tribute and describing the details of the crash.
He wrote: “Very sadly both of my amazing parents died on Friday.
“As a family we are all trying to hold onto the fact Mum and Dad went together and that neither will ever have to mourn the loss of the other one. Which is a blessing in itself.”
The 53-year-old broadcaster went on to describe details of the crash, saying the car “toppled over a bridge” on their estate in Littlebourne, near Canterbury, and ended up “upside down in the river”.
Despite his parents being pulled from the vehicle, he said they “never regained consciousness”.
He said while both had been “on extremely good form in the days before” the accident, he said his parents were both suffering from health issues.
He wrote: “Mum’s Parkinson’s and Dad’s Dementia had been worsening and the long term future was set to be a challenge.”
He said that just a week ago his mother had told him, “now it looks like we will probably go together,” adding, “and so they did”.
The couple, who were on their way to a local pub to have lunch when the accident took place, were described as “both people of Christian faith” by Spencer’s Location co-host Kirstie Allsopp when she posted a tribute on Saturday.
Spencer’s message went on: “That was what God had planned for them – and it was a good plan”.
The car ‘toppled over a bridge’
He went on to explain how the accident took place, writing: “The car, going very slowly, toppled over a bridge on the farm drive, upside down into the river.
“There were no physical injuries and I very much doubt they would have even fought it – they would have held hands under the water and quietly slipped away”.
He said the alarm was quickly raised by his parents’ carer – a woman in her 60s who was also in the vehicle and received minor injuries in the crash – but who managed to escape from the back window of the car.
Spencer said his older brother stepped in to try to save his parents, but to no avail.
He wrote: “As many farmers do – my brother had a penknife and so was able to cut the seat belts – he pulled them out of the river but they never regained consciousness”.
Spencer concluded: “Although desperately sad and shocked beyond all belief – all family are clear that if there can ever be such a thing as having a “good end” – this was it.
“It feels horrendous right now, but after almost 60 years of marriage – to die together on the farm they so loved will, I know, be a comfort in the future.
“Mum Dad are together which is precisely where they would have wanted to be”.
Single vehicle collision
Kent Police confirmed they had responded to a report of a single vehicle collision at around 12.30 on Saturday, and that while a man and a woman in their 80s were taken to hospital, they were later pronounced deceased.
Officers said a report is currently being prepared by the coroner.
Described as farmers and animal lovers, Richard and Anne were also parents to Spencer’s three siblings, Robert, Caryn, and Helen and grandparents to eight grandchildren.
Spencer has became a household name presenting Channel 4 property show Location, Location, Location alongside Kirstie Allsopp since 2000.
The TV couple (who despite their on-screen chemistry, are both happily married to non-TV partners) have appeared in 39 series of the hit property show, as well as spin-off shows including Relocation, Relocation.