The man who died after reportedly jumping in front of a 4 train with his 5-year-old daughter on Monday morning was called an "angel" by his wife.
“Loving with his children. A good father. Responsible. Really, I don’t know what happened," Niurka Caraballo told the Daily News.
Fernando Balbuena-Flores, 45, was at the Kingsbridge Road station in the Bronx with daughter Ferni when he reportedly "grabbed the little girl by the wrist and pulled her on to the tracks" as a Manhattan-bound train approached.
Balbuena-Flores was killed, but the girl somehow survived, and good Samaritans jumped onto the tracks and rescued her from under the train.
"She crawled from underneath the 4 train to us, we grabbed her, I gave her to the man," Antonyo Love told WABC 7. He said the girl kept saying, "Papa, papa, papa."
Ferni was taken to Jacobi Medical Center, and her mother told reporters that she was okay. Later, Caraballo said, "The girl is in perfect condition. Thank God and the angels who watched over her. Everything is O.K., except that now I’m without my husband."
The good Samaritan, Love, though, was frustrated with some other commuters who did nothing, "It was just panicking. Like, regular New Yorkers, pulling out their phones. Really? Let’s get down there and help.” (The NY Times reports that Love left his bag on the platform when he went to help rescue the girl, and, when he returned, his bag was missing.)
A transit union official told the Daily News that "the train’s operator saw the girl first, and the father follow her off the platform." The official said, "It’s still not exactly clear to the operator what happened. The first thing he saw was the girl in the air – and the father jumped off the platform after her." The train operator was treated for trauma.
MTA spokesperson Shams Tarek said, "This is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family members as well as with our employees who responded. This is a traumatic event for everyone involved.”
If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide: do not leave the person alone; remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt; and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional.