New York City

ME: Mom in Subway Death Fall Had ‘No Significant Trauma,' Appears Death is Related to ‘Pre-Existing Medical Condition'

Malaysia Goodson was found unconscious on the platform inside the Seventh Avenue station

What to Know

  • A 22-year-old woman died Monday evening after she somehow fell down the stairs of a subway station in Manhattan, police say
  • Malaysia Goodson, of Stamford, Connecticut, was found unconscious on the southbound platform of the Seventh Avenue station at around 8 p.m.
  • Her baby girl wasn't hurt; cops said Goodson was still holding the stroller when she died

The city's Chief Medical Examiner said Wednesday the young mother from Connecticut found dead at the bottom of subway station steps in Manhattan, a stroller with her 1-year-old daughter in it still in her arms, had no signs of "significant trauma," and it appeared her death could be related to a "pre-existing medical condition."

Malaysia Goodson, a 22-year-old mom from Stamford, and her daughter Rhylee were found on the southbound platform inside the Seventh Avenue B D E subway station in Midtown Monday evening.

Her daughter Rhylee wasn't hurt, Goodson's family told News 4, and is staying with her father. 

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said: “While the cause of death is pending in this case, we can state that there is no significant trauma, and this fatality appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition.”

Regardless of the cause, Goodson's death -- at a station that does not have an elevator, just two escalators that go up -- prompted mass calls for increased accessibility across the city's transit system, including from the mayor himself.

De Blasio said her death never should have happened. 

"The subway system is not accessible for everyone and that's an environment the MTA should not allow," he tweeted.

The MTA also released a statement on Goodson's death Tuesday, calling it "a heartbreaking tragedy" and saying "the MTA, medical examiner's office and NYPD are conducting a full investigation." 

Family members tell News 4 that Goodson, who worked at a day care in her home town of Stamford, was in the city visiting a cousin, though appeared to have been alone when she went into the subway Monday night. The family used to live in New York City so has lots of relatives and friends there.

"At this point, I don't even know, I'm just in shock," said her mother Tamika Goodson. "I don't know which way to go." 

Goodson's daughter Rhylee is her only child. The young woman's brother described his late sister as protective and caring.

"She was a good sister. She was protective. No matter what, she would protect me and my brother and sister," said Shawn Goodson.

He said his sister was loved by all, and he's been getting hundreds of condolence messages on social media.

Officials say a preliminary MTA investigation Monday night found the stairs, railing and floor in good condition. Most staircases and railings are inspected every three days, but some stations are inspected daily. Elevators, meanwhile, are inspected up to six times every day -- and in 2018, systemwide elevator availability was 96.5 percent, the officials said. Currently, just 118 of the city's 472 subway stations have elevators, but officials say MTA President Andy Byford's Fast Foward Plan calls for a dramatic expansion of accessibility -- one that would require riders to go no more than two stops without access.

The ultimate goal, officials said, is maximum possible systemwide accessibility within 15 years.

"It's absurd that in 2019 there's not more elevators," said subway rider Jessica Courtney. "It's completely ridiculous." 

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