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Neighbors rescue 88-year-old stuck in snow: ‘It could have killed me’


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    SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, California (KOVR) — A South Lake Tahoe man is thankful to be home safe after being rescued by two strong women when he got stuck knee-deep in snow.

Every day, Robert ‘Brian’ Spencer laces up his shoes and heads out the door to take his daily walk. He started the routine when he was 14 and hasn’t stopped — rain or shine.

“I have lived my life as a tough guy,” Spencer said. “The mistake I make is that I’m 88.”

The 88-year-old tough guy’s’ mistake was trudging through the snow last week through a field more than knee-deep. It didn’t take long for him to get stuck.

“Oh gosh I’m in trouble,” he said, remembering what was going through his mind as it happened. He was half a mile from home, and unable to move from the spot for more than an hour.

“It could have gone dark if that had happened,” Spencer said. “It could have killed me.”

That’s until his snow angels came to the rescue. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s Denise Upton spotted something furry and black from her home’s window. It would turn out to be Spencer’s hat, but from her vantage point, it was something else.

“I immediately think it’s a hurt animal,” Upton said.

Spencer was on all fours. Upton sprung into action alongside Debra Redmon, a friend and fellow wildlife volunteer.

“There was no second thought – it was just, dive right in and find out how he was doing,” she said.

Together, they smashed down a path in the snow until it was clear to get him out on his feet again and slide him to safety.

“We chase bears, we rescue raccoons,” Upton said. “This was easy compared to a lot of that.”

Spencer said he’s thankful for their willpower, especially Redmon’s strength, which he said could make her capable of being captain of a fire department any day.

Spencer is a former Bay Area firefighter and veteran of the Royal Air Force, used to saving the day — not being saved.

But this man of a million stories has a new one to tell, one of neighbors helping neighbors to get a “tough guy” home safe.

Spencer still takes his daily walks but said he has learned his lesson — vowing not to walk through heavy snow next time. He said the main reason he’s alive is thanks to the strength of women.

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