PHOENIX - It might seem crazy to the average person, but death-defying stunts are how one Arizona family pays the bills.
Bryan Spangler and his dad, Arizona legend Spanky Spangler are stuntmen who have done hundreds of incredible acts of bravery over the decades. Some of their works have been shown live on ABC15 in the past.
"We have broken femurs, shattered his whole right leg, broken right ankle, concussions," Bryan explained.
It's painful, but it's also what Bryan and Spanky call work. For them, it’s a dream.
"I remember when I came out of that car, I was so pumped,” Bryan recalled of a recent high-speed vehicle jump. “I just climbed on top of the car. I don't know. It's just something inside that gives you a good rush, a good feeling."
What this father and son team does takes more than just guts, it takes smarts.
"A lot of people think we just go out there and we don't figure out the math. My dad is really good with numbers, degrees. He stunt coordinates for Red Bull and Robbie Knievel.
Bryan says his dad has spent entire years planning out single stunts. Despite all of the precautions and calculations, everything can still go wrong in a couple seconds. In one of Spanky’s stunts, his car came up short after launching off of a ramp. Instead of clearing a gap and landing softly on another ramp, he slammed his car head-on into the base of the ramp.
"It wasn't good. I knew right away, because when he hit the ramp he had too much suspension and was gone,” Bryan recalled. “He left the ramp way too early. There was literally blood coming out the corner of his eyes from the impact."
Brian has his scars too. The remnants of stitches on his right knee are a permanent reminder of a hard landing.
"Sooner or later, it's probably going to happen. Even the best of the best go down, but you just have to get back up and get after it. You know?"
It’s safe to say no one truly “knows,” unless they've been there, falling hundreds of feet, while on fire, but to laugh in death's face, it's all worth it for Bryan and Spanky.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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