Steinberg Family Dies in Tragic Plane Crash

Amanda Ruzumna and Emily Kopp

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All five members of a Greendale Road family were killed in a plane crash on Sunday, December 31. Bruce and Irene Steinberg and their children were on vacation in Costa Rica when their plane went down near the town of Punta Islita. The victims included Zachary ’16 and William ’17, and their younger brother Matthew. The New York Times reported that the family was headed for San José, the last stop on their vacation when their plane crashed.

Seven other people were also killed, including five additional American passengers and the plane’s two Costa Rican pilots.

The oldest son, Zachary, was an avid tennis player at SHS and was a member of the garden club. He went on to attend Johns Hopkins University. The middle son, William, also played tennis and was a member of the cross country team. He attended the University of Pennsylvania. The youngest, Matthew, was an eighth-grader at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Their father, Bruce, worked in investment banking, and their mother, Irene, volunteered at many non-profit organizations and chaired the SHS College and Career Center.  

The President of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera, expressed his condolences for the families of the victims on Facebook, writing, “I am in solidarity, on behalf of the people and government of Costa Rica, with the families of those who died in today’s tragic air crash.” As the U.S. State Department confirmed the deaths, they shared a similar sentiment: “We express our condolences to all those affected by this tragedy. We are in contact with Costa Rican aviation authorities and will continue to monitor the situation.”

This tragedy struck the SHS student body on New Year’s Eve as students began to hear the devastating news. The Scarsdale community was heartbroken, sending prayers and expressing condolences to the Steinberg family. “I know there will be there will be much to say in the coming days, and that so many of us want to do everything we can to express our grief and to show our support for the bereaved family,” said Westchester Reform Temple Rabbi Jonathan Blake in an email to congregants.

Starting tomorrow, SHS is offering counseling within the school for any students who need support, and the school will add resources if needed. SHS alumni home for the holiday break are also invited to see the counselors.

We welcome condolences for the Steinbergs in the comment section of this article.