A 5-year-old survived after her father jumped in front of a speeding train on Monday, committing suicide.
Police say the incident happened around 8 a.m. at the elevated Kingsbridge Road Station in the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx. The train was on its way to Manhattan when came to an immediate stop after the impact. The little girl, Fernie Balbuena, was able to crawl along the track bed and be pulled out by another train rider.
Fernie was taken to the hospital and left with no visible injuries. “She’s OK,” her mother, Niurka Caraballo, 41, said outside Jacobi Medical Center, gesturing to the girl, who flashed a bright smile even as the mom was unable to hold back tears. “Thank God!”
Caraballo said her husband, Fernando Balbuena, 45, reportedly showed no signs of issues earlier in the day; the family was dropping their daughter off to school like every other day. However, Fernando had been hospitalized six times for mental health issues and took medication.
When the father got to the train station, he placed a disturbing call to Caraballo. “She couldn’t understand what he was saying,” said Luis Sanchez, a godfather to the couple’s 2-year-old son. “But she got the feeling that something was very, very wrong.” Caraballo told police that she tried to call her husband back repeatedly, but she got no answer. When she finally got a person on the line, it was Fernie who said: “Daddy was crying.”
Caraballo took off towards the station, five blocks from their apartment. By the time she had got there, Balbuena had already jumped. Witnesses say the father gathered his daughter and jumped in into the path of the train as it was arriving to the station. Bystanders say the man’s body was “cut in half.” Belbuena’s last words to his wife on the phone were “Con Dios, con dios, con dios que alli viene el tren. His words translate to “With God, with God, with God that there comes the train.”
Caraballo said it is because of God that her daughter is alive. “My daughter is in perfect condition, thanks to God,” she said. “To those living angels that saved my daughter, thank you.”