What to Know
- Death of man who jumped onto subway tracks with 5-year-old daughter in his arms in Bronx during Monday's morning rush was ruled a suicide
- The man, identified as 45-year-old Fernando Balbuena, was killed by the train — but the girl lived, getting trapped underneath
- If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
The death of the man who jumped onto subway tracks with his 5-year-old daughter in his arms in the Bronx during Monday's morning rush was ruled a suicide.
The man had the girl cradled in one arm when he jumped in front of the train as it rounded a curve and slowed at the Kingsbridge Road station just before 8 a.m., police said. The man, identified as 45-year-old Fernando Balbuena, was killed by the Manhattan-bound train — but the girl lived, getting trapped underneath.
According to the medical examiner, Balbuena suffered blunt impact injuries to his torso, ruling the manner of death a suicide.
With the help of two strangers, the little girl crawled her way to safety. One of the good Samaritans said the girl was calling out for her father the whole time.
"Papa, Papa, Papa, that's it. She didn't say anything else," said Antonio Love, who went down onto the tracks with another man to help the child.
She was rushed to the hospital afterward, but after only minor injuries were found the girl was brought home by her godfather to her mother, who expressed gratitude to those who helped her daughter.
"My baby is in perfect condition, thank God ... to the angels who protected her," Niurka Caraballo said in Spanish hours after the ordeal.
The two men who helped the little girl had minor injuries and were taken to a hospital, fire officials said. Cellphone video from a witness showed the two bystanders leap into action, pulling the girl from the tracks and handing her back up the platform to safety.
Although Balbuena’s death was ruled a suicide, those who knew him said he was not suicidal as far as they could tell and saw him as a good father.
"This is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family members as well as with our train operator — this is a traumatic event for everyone involved," MTA spokesman Shams Tarek said in a statement.
Later Monday night, NYPD officers brought toys and food for the 5-year-old as she rests at home with her family, recovering from a traumatic day.
If you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting 'Home' to 741741.