Monsey Boy Rescued After Trying to Walk Across Not-So-Frozen Lake

By Reuvain Borchardt

L-R: Chaverim member Shloimie Spira, Usher Wieder, and Hatzoloh member Moshe Schuster remove the boy from the water. (Chaveirim of Rockland)

A young Monsey boy was rescued by a bus driver and first responders after trying to walk across a Monsey lake he thought had frozen over.

The boy and his friend were trying to walk across Lake Suzanne around 5:20 p.m. After weekend with temperatures in the single digits, the lake appeared to be frozen. But on this Monday evening, with temperatures in the 40’s, the ice gave way, and the boys fell into the frigid water.

One boy managed to get himself onto the ice and walk out, but the other began struggling in the water.

Usher Wieder, a bus driver for Satmar yeshiva, was just passing the lake, nearing the end of his route when he saw a boy walking out of the lake. He stopped his bus and ran out to investigate, and saw that a second boy was struggling in the water.

Wieder told a bystander to call Hatzolah and watch his bus, and he walked out into the lake, he told Hamodia in an interview Monday evening.

“The boy was about 50 or 75 feet from shore,” Wieder said. “As I got closer, I noticed that the ice was getting thinner. Finally I just plunged into the water.”

Wieder grabbed the child, but was struggling to find his own footing in the muddy lake floor. “I tried to test the ice around me if I could hop onto it, but wherever I tested, it was breaking apart,” Wieder recalled. “I started making my way out. I was afraid the kid would fall out of my hands, so I told him to grab onto the ice through his jacket.”

By that time, Hatzoloh, Chaveirim and the Fire Department had responded to the scene.

Chaveirim and Hatzoloh members jumped into the water, using a ladder and ropes as devices to pull Wieder the child to safety.

The child was hospitalized, but is conscious and fully alert.

And how does it feel for the bus driver who has become an instant hero after saving a life?

“It’s a good feeling,” Wieder laughs. “But a little cold.”

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