Good Samaritan drowns trying to save child in Hudson River

YONKERS, N.Y. -- A 40-year-old man is dead after jumping into the Hudson River to save a young boy.

Several people jumped into the river off a pier near a marina in Yonkers Sunday after seeing the 6-year-old boy fall into the water. Authorities say a family cookout was under way at the time, and it is not known how the boy fell.

The victim has been identified as Boyce Coleman, known as "Scoop" to his friends and family. There is no swimming allowed in the area, and a chain-link fence blocks access to the river.

Four to five people jumped in to save the child, who was eventually pulled to safety near the JFK Marina. Coleman helped rescue the boy, but exhausted from his efforts, he couldn't save himself. Friends remember a vibrant, larger-than-life personality.

"He loved life, he gave life," friend William Van Buren said. "And he gave his life for a life."

Yonkers and NYPD dive teams searched the river, finally recovering his body about two hours later.

"Unfortunately, one of the heroes became a victim himself," Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said. "My condolences to his family. We'll let the investigation unfold and see what we need to do moving forward."

The cookout was a reunion of the School Street Houses, the Yonkers apartment complex where Coleman grew up.

The investigation is ongoing.
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.