It’s a weird twist to an already weird story. On the day before Thanksgiving, Gardnerville resident Lee Duncan never came home from a meeting at Lake Tahoe. Now it wasn’t like Lee to run off without telling anybody, especially at age 65, so his friends and family knew something had to be up. And his friend Ron Santi figured it was no good sitting around the house waiting, so he went out to search for him. After three times driving up and down Spooner Grade, looking for evidence of an accident, he spotted something in the brush below. Soon he was standing next to his friend’s crushed and overturned car, which had gone over the side of the cliff. And Lee was inside, injured but still alive. His friend’s devotion had saved his life.
It was kind of a feel good story for Thanksgiving, but now it’s taken a dark turn. Six weeks after he was rescued off of that barren slope in the Sierras, Lee Duncan was found at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, dead from a self-inflicted gun wound. The life that had been given to him had been taken back, by his own hand. Now that leaves everyone, especially Ron Santi, wondering if the event on Spooner Grade really was an accident, or if Lee was trying to end his life then too. I suppose we’ll never know now, since there was no note left behind, but I’m sure his friends and family will be haunted by the question.