Good Samaritan David Reichenberg Dies Trying To Save Father, Son From Flood Waters In Spring Valley

SPRING VALLEY, NY (CBSNewYork) — A good Samaritan lost his life this weekend trying to save a father and his son amid the winds and rain of Hurricane Irene on Sunday.

Many, including his heartbroken son, are calling 50-year-old David Reichenberg a hero after his efforts.

“He saved people’s lives without thinking,” Akiva Reichenberg told CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.

Reichenberg’s heroism cost the husband and father of four his life, and Akiva, his dad.

“It seems like a dream. A bad dream,” he said. “Like it’s not possible it happened.”

On a flooded street in Spring Valley Sunday, Reichenberg saw a father and his 6-year-old child entangled with a live, downed electrical wire from the storm. Both of them were shocked and burned.

Police say Reichenberg rushed to save them, pulling them away from the power line, but it cost him his life.

“He was lying on the floor and his clothes were on fire,” said eyewitness Lou Weinberg. “I thought it was a grass fire at first, but it was him.”

Reichenberg was electrocuted from the wire, killed trying to save someone else’s little boy.

Reichenberg’s emotional brother felt shattered, yet proud of the rescue effort.

“He went in selflessly,” said his brother Eric Reichenberg. “Helped other people. It cost him his life.”

Inside the Reichenberg home, family is sitting Shiva, mourning a loving husband, devoted father and selfless soul.

“I’m proud of him,” said Akiva. “He was born a hero and he died a hero.”

The injured child is now in serious condition at Westchester Medical Center. The father was treated for burns and released.

Please share your thoughts below…

  • Aharon Hoffman

    He was a friend of mine. I joined him and his family many times for holiday meals. Everything they are saying about him is true, and more. You are deeply missed, dear friend.

  • ER

    we all gotta go . Best to go put doing something God would plased with

  • Yochanan Sacks

    My and my family’s deepest sorrow and condolences to the Reichenberg family. I knew David, may his soul rest in peace, personally and he was a truly sweet and beautiful soul. Unassuming, a joy to see, because he exuded happiness… This is horribly tragic. I am so sorry. His kindness is a message and he is an example of how much we must care for one another.

  • Dov Baum

    For anybody who wishes to help the family (4 children 2 with special needs) a fund was established with a website to donate. you can donate directly with a credit card or mail a check all the details are on the site.

    As a neighbor I can tell you they need all the help possible, they have nothing. Please all out there lets help this hero’s family. May God bless you all

  • Topher Houston

    I recently heard that a man was killed in this storm and thought who was he, and felt that there was special energy around him. It is sad to hear that a hero was killed that day.

  • Sydelle Houston

    His son’s words pulled at my heart. My condolences to the entire family.

  • CCNY

    what a horrible thing to say! He was definitely a hero! He put his life on the line without thinking to save two other live…one of them being a young innocent child. GOD BLESS HIIS SOUL!

  • J

    David, in my eyes you were always an amazing man with a heart so large it could be seen through your beautiful eyes. I will always hold in my heart the good times that we had the good fortune to share, You will always be a hero and a mench. My heart and prayers go out to your family. You were loved, you will always be loved and now you are a HERO in the arms of G_d.

  • Bklyn mom

    This is a sad story, but a good one, because it shows how people help each other in a time of great need. I would rather read about someone dying while saving another’s life than about a murder or some other vicious act. God bless David and his family!

  • Steven

    The reporter did a nice job. It should be known that David leaves behind a wife and four children. For those who wish to show support in this loving family’s time of need, a fund has been set up to help see the family through the difficult times ahead. Please show your support by sending donations to :
    Ohr Somayach Reichenberg Fund
    244 Route 306
    Monsey, NY, 10952

  • Ko

    No greater Love….. And to save a kid, He is sitting at the right hand of the father right now
    A mitzvah like no other



  • David

    I have no clue what your comment was supposed to be since it doesn’t seem to have been posted to your liking. However, what it seems like is that you are from those few people in the world who will always find something negative in the best of situations.

    Have a good life!

  • Ezzy Klein

    I don’t like stories like these. They make me so very sad. :(

  • Michelle

    May His memory be for a blessing

  • irv shaffner

    who is you all — ? –btw — note they had the brains to delete you original vile comment

    • MSavage

      Such a thing could be?? I’ll take both.

  • Michael B.

    Deepest condolences to the family. My heart weeps with and for you.

  • Gloria Schramm

    They who were thought to be extinguished on earth shone brilliantly in heaven.” – St. Peter Chrysologus

  • Chatzkel Steinbergmanitz

    Only we could do something so heroic. G’d bless.

    • KPMc


      This man lived and died a selfless hero. More than I can say for most of the commenters here, including me.

      Condolences to the family but hopefully they will get some comfort knowing this man was a true hero, caring neighbor and fine example of a true citizen and human being for all of us. Society would be better served with more people like him.

      As for the rest of you bringing up things that really don’t matter in a story like this… your bitterness is destroying your humanity… time to self-reflect before it is too late.

  • Rick

    David was a hero to his family and his community. But really, it was typical behavior for him. He always put others first, regardless of who they were or where they came from. He will always be an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him.

  • MBC

    God bless a hero. A person, get over labels and prejudice.

  • Kathy Worth

    David was my husband’s step-cousin. Our hearts ache with sadness.

  • Sara Isaacs

    wow!!! there are no words….
    we mourn with the family-truely feel their pain!!!

  • t wang

    true hero

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