Phil Spencer’s dad died of lung infection hours after car crash that killed wife

Phil Spencer's father died from a lung injury after a horror car crash that claimed the life of his beloved wife, an inquest heard on Monday.

The Location, Location, Location presenter, 53, lost both of his parents – Richard, 89, and Anne, 82 – on Friday 18 August when the car they were travelling crashed into a shallow tributary river that runs through their farming estate in Kent.

An inquest into Richard's death on Monday 30 October heard how he had passed away from aspiration pneumonitis, which is a lung injury caused by inhaling toxic and/or irritant substances. He was rushed to hospital but sadly never regained consciousness.

A full inquest into Richard's death was adjourned until 19 December while a hearing into Anne's passing is yet to open.

The couple were on their way to have lunch when the crash occurred in August. Anne was driving the vehicle and Richard, as well as the couple's carer, were passengers. Kent Fire and Rescue service was called at 12.38pm on 18 August and spent 90 minutes at the scene.

Giving more details about how his parents sadly lost their lives, Phil explained that they were likely 'holding hands' until the very end.

"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.

Phil added: "Their carer was in the car and managed to climb out of a back window so the alarm was raised quite quickly.

"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."

The TV presenter paid a touching tribute to his late parents after their death, saying he and his family were holding on to the face that Richard and Anne passed away together.

Phil said: "As a family we are all trying to hold on to 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."

He added: "Although they were both on extremely good form in the days before (hence the sudden idea to go out to lunch), mum's Parkinson's and dad's dementia had been worsening and the long-term future was set to be a challenge.

"So much so that mum said to me only a week ago that she had resigned to thinking 'now it looks like we will probably go together'. And so they did."

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