Phil Spencer’s parents trapped underwater for 20 minutes as tragic cause of death details released

An inquest into the deaths of Phil Spencer’s elderly parents has revealed that their vehicle was submerged in river water for up to 20 minutes after falling from a bridge.

The mother and father of the Location, Location, Location co-host died in August after their car toppled off of a bridge on their Kent farm and into the Nailbourne river.

Though emergency services spent 90 minutes at the scene trying to revive them, both Richard, 89, and Anne, 82, were later pronounced dead.

On Monday (20 November), coroner Sarah Clarke shared more details about their deaths, confirming that Anne died of a lung infection and a loss of oxygen to the brain.

She explained that Anne was driving the car with her husband in the passenger seat, while their full-time live-in carer was in the back.

After the car went down a private lane from the Spencers’ property, it tipped over the edge of a bridge.

“It struck the bottom of the river and overturned,” the coroner explained.

The trio were submerged in around three feet of water but their carer managed to escape from the car through a window.

Phil Spencer and his parents, Anne and Richard Spencer (PA / Instagram - Phil Spencer)
Phil Spencer and his parents, Anne and Richard Spencer (PA / Instagram - Phil Spencer)

Anne Spencer was pronounced dead at 9.55pm.

Ms Clarke confirmed Mrs Spencer’s medical cause of death as aspiration pneumonia, hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury and near drowning.

Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, while aspiration pneumonia is an infection of the lungs caused by inhaling food or liquid.

Last month, an inquest into Richard Spencer’s death found that he also died of a lung injury, as well as nearly drowning in the car.

Hours after the accident, Phil, 53, shared that his parents’ health had been declining, with his mother having Parkinson’s and his father having dementia. In an Instagram post, the property expert paid tribute to his “amazing parents” and shared his appreciation that neither parent would have to live without the other.

“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,” he wrote, adding: “Which is a blessing in itself.”

The full inquest into Mr and Mrs Spencer’s deaths will be held on 19 December.