Mother of Girl, 5, Whose Father Jumped in Front of Train While Holding Her Knew Something Was Wrong: Report
Niurka Caraballo headed to the station after speaking to a frantic Fernando Balbuena on the phone.
The mother of a 5-year-old girl who miraculously survived when her father jumped in front of a New York subway train while holding her knew something was up beforehand, according to a family friend.
Niurka Caraballo said Fernando Balbuena, the girl’s father, left their apartment on Monday morning to head to the train with their daughter. He called her en route, but their exchange was troubling, Luis Sanchez, the family friend, told the New York Post.
“She couldn’t understand what he was saying. It wasn’t coming through, but she got the feeling that something was very, very wrong,” Sanchez said. “She felt something was wrong, so she ran to the train.”
When she arrived, however, Balbuena, 45, had already jumped in front of the 4 train at the Kingsbridge Road station and was killed. The 5-year-old girl miraculously survived after falling between the train's wheels.
Two good Samaritans helped her off the tracks after she crawled out from under the train with her backpack still on.
Bystanders said all she kept saying was “Papa,” calling for her father.
She was unharmed and was released from the hospital on the same day.
Caraballo, 41, told the Post that Balbuena suffered from depression, but she was not expecting anything like that to happen.
“He was a good husband, a good father, a good provider and a good man,” Caraballo said. “I had no idea.”
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