Neighbors aid woman who lost husband - CBS 5 - KPHO

PAY IT FORWARD

Neighbors aid woman who lost husband

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Charlie Thompson Charlie Thompson
River Thompson, left, and neighbor Cody Bentley River Thompson, left, and neighbor Cody Bentley
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A valley woman lost a family pet and then, minutes later, her husband who was killed as he tried to retrieve their dog from a busy street.

Now, neighbors are coming to her aid when she needs it most.

"He's just a hard-working guy, likes to fish and hunt and spend time with his family," River Thompson said of her husband, Charlie, as if he were still by her side.

It's a habit that River finds tough to break - referring to her husband in present tense.

"He's a good guy," she said.

Two days after Thanksgiving, Charlie Thompson ran onto 19th Avenue just south of Union Hills Drive  to recover the family's Australian Shepherd, Smoosh, which had just been hit by a car.

Thompson was stepping to the curb when he was struck and killed by another passing car.

"I checked to see if he was breathing or had a heartbeat or anything and just held his hand and talked to him and begged him just to hang on," River said.

River and Charlie had three young boys together, not to mention Charlie's own children.

River now has to take care of them all, even though she was a stay-at-home mom.

"It's just harder just to have to do it by yourself when I wasn't used to that, you know?" she said.

Cody Bentley is River's neighbor, one of several who have pitched in to support the family since Charlie's death.

"We want to help her until she can stabilize the family and hopefully keep the house," Bentley said

Cody emailed CBS 5 and asked for help.

Bentley said that River has enough to worry about without having to stress about putting food on the table for the kids, so CBS 5 provided $500 so Bentley and his neighbors could pay it forward to River and her family.

"This is a very sweet, fun-loving and humble family in need," Bentley read to River from his prepared statement. "Right now we would just like to present $500 from CBS 5."

A tearful River embraced her thoughtful neighbor.

Every day, River has to drive by the spot where she held her husband's hand and asked him to hang on.

Now, neighbors and friends are helping her do just that.

If you would like to help the Thompson family, there is an account set up at Chase Bank under the name River Thompson, ending in 8267.

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