A rushing commuter bumped into an elderly couple in a subway station, knocking an 89-year-old man onto the tracks, police said.
The fall eventually led to Kurt Salzinger's death 12 days later, the NYPD confirmed. He had bleeding in the brain, then developed pneumonia.
His wife, 85-year-old Deanna Chitayat, told the New York Post she was also knocked down by the man who was running onto a train at the 34th Street-Penn Station on Oct. 27.
“He died because of that guy,” Chitayat told the outlet. “I don’t think he meant to kill him, but he killed him.”
Other straphangers helped Salzinger, a psychology professor who fled Austria with his family during World War II.
Salzinger was a Professor Emeritus at Hofstra University who was the former Senior Scholar in Residence in the school's psychology department, the school said in a statement.
"In my early days at Hofstra, I remember Kurt having a calming, supportive, steady voice in the department," Dr. Craig Johnson, chair of the psychology department, said in a statement. "He was well-liked by his colleagues and a highly influential and respected scholar."
Police said they are investigating the incident as an accident.
No one has been arrested. Police asked anyone with information to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.