Phil Spencer has revealed his brother tried to rescue their parents after their car crashed into a river and paid tribute to them in an emotional statement on Instagram.
The TV star’s mother Anne and father David died at their farm in Littlebourne, Kent on Friday (18 August) while the couple were on their way to lunch.
Taking to Instagram, Spencer, 53, said: “It is very sad that both of my amazing parents passed away on Friday.
“As a family we all try to hold on to the fact that mom and dad passed together and neither ever has to grieve the loss of the other. Which in itself is a blessing.
“Although they were both in very good shape in the days before (hence the sudden idea of going out for lunch), the dementia mother’s Parkinson’s disease and father’s had worsened and the long-term future was set to be challenging.
“So much so that just a week ago Mom said to me she’d reconciled herself to the thought, ‘Now it looks like we’re probably going to go together.'” And they did.”
Spencer, known from the real estate show Channel 4 Location, location, locationsaid the accident was “what God had planned for her” so that the couple could stay together after six decades of marriage and four children.
He described the moments before the accident as follows: “The very slow-moving car crashed over a bridge on the farm driveway and fell headfirst into the river.
“There were no physical injuries and I highly doubt they would have put up a fight at all – they would have held hands underwater and silently slipped away.
“Their attendant was in the car and was able to climb out of a rear window so the alarm went off pretty quickly.”
Spencer said his brother was able to get to the car and use a penknife to cut his parents’ seat belts.
“He pulled them out of the river, but they never regained consciousness,” he said.
The Kent Fire Service was called and was on site for 90 minutes.
Spencer said the family was “incredibly distraught and shocked” but understood that “if ever there could be such a thing as a ‘happy ending,’ this is it.”
He added, “It feels awful right now, but after almost 60 years of marriage there will be some comfort in the future to die together on the farm they loved so much.”
“Mom and dad are together, right where they wanted to be.”
Spencer’s co-host Kirstie Allsopp asked fans to join her in “sending so much love” to his family following the deaths.
Taking to Instagram, the 51-year-old wrote: “Recently taken at their home in Kent, this beautiful photo is of Anne and David Spencer. I am deeply saddened to say that they both died yesterday in a car accident near their home.
“They were farmers, animal lovers and devoted parents to Robert, Caryn, Helen and Philip and adored their eight grandchildren. The only blessing is that they died together, so they never have to mourn the loss of one another.”