On Monday, 45-year-old Fernando Balbuena-Flores threw himself and his 5-year-old daughter in front of a train in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx in New York City. Miraculously, the little girl survived.
According to witnesses who talked to the New York Post, the suicidal jump happened around 8 a.m. when the Manhattan-bound 4 train came around the corner. Though Flores’ body was “cut in half,” 5-year-old Ferni managed to survive after the train halted.
“I watched as that train came around that corner, and I saw as the man jumped, and I see the little feet hanging out,” said one witness, Jennifer Hub.
Two men jumped onto the tracks to help Ferni belly-crawl out from under the train. The only injury she sustained was a trickle of blood from her forehead.
“Little by little, my love!” one witness called out to encourage Ferni from the train. “Little by little!”
The suicide came as a shock to Flores’ wife, Niurka Caraballo. Though Flores had been hospitalized for mental health concerns six times and took medication, Caraballo told the police her husband seemed normal when he woke up, got dressed, and left to take his daughter to school like every other day.
But at the station, Flores made a disturbing call to his wife.
“She couldn’t understand what he was saying,” Luis Sanchez, a godfather to the couple’s younger son, said. “But she got the feeling that something was very, very wrong.”
When Caraballo finally reached Ferni after the first phone call, Ferni told her that her daddy was crying. Caraballo left her apartment and ran five blocks to the station, but she arrived too late.
“He was a good husband, a good father, a good provider and a good man,” Caraballo said through a Spanish translator after the incident. “I had no idea [this would happen].”
But Caraballo gives credit to God for her daughter’s survival.
“My daughter is in perfect condition, thanks to God,” she said. “To those living angels that saved my daughter, thank you.”
Photo courtesy: Charl Folscher/Unsplash
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine. She blogs at mikaelamathews.com.