A suicidal father’s chilling final words have been revealed after he scooped his five-year-old daughter into his arms and leaped in front of a train.
Niurka Caraballo, 41, of Grand Concourse, New York, spoke to her husband Fernando Balbuena, 45, minutes before he committed suicide on Monday.
The couple’s daughter Ferni miraculously survived and escaped the incident unscathed after being pulled out from under the 4 train in the Bronx.
Caraballo claimed that witnesses to the event had speculated he was ‘fighting with someone’ on the phone but he actually called her.
‘The last thing he said was, ‘With God, with God. Here comes the train,’ she told the New York Post.
Fernando Balbuena died of an apparent suicide by jumping in front of a train with his five-year-old daughter Ferni in his arms on Monday morning in the Bronx. The 45-year-old father reportedly called his wife to say goodbye moments before he jumped. Balbuena is pictured with Ferni, who miraculously survived the horrifying ordeal
Balbuena called his wife Niurka Caraballo minutes before he jumped. She explained, ‘The last thing he said was, ‘With God, with God. Here comes the train.’ The mother immediately suspected something was wrong and ran to the subway station at Kingsbridge Road. Caraballo is pictured with her daughter
Witnesses recorded video of two Good Samaritans rescuing Ferni from under the train
Caraballo explained that her husband had a long-running battle with depression but was on medication when he committed his final act.
She said: ‘My husband is a serious man, responsible, quiet and reserved. He was in treatment, he took his medication. We are all in shock.’
Caraballo claimed to have suspected something earlier in the day when he left their home at around 8am, the New York Post reported.
After receiving the phone call she knew there was something ‘very, very wrong’ and ran to the subway station at Kingsbridge Road.
When she got there, the mother learned that Balbuena had jumped into the path of a 4 train with Ferni in his arms, traveling above ground.
The girl escaped the ordeal physically unscathed as harrowing video showed Good Samaritans pulling her out from underneath the train.
Caraballo said: ‘They are calling her the miracle girl… My daughter was reborn yesterday.’
Though the young girl is physically fine, she is yet to understand what happened and has asked for her dad, still with the belief that he will enter the door at any moment.
‘Ferni was very close to him… After what happened, she is saying, “Daddy is in the hospital. He hurt his stomach,”‘ Caraballo added.
Several rush hour commuters watched in horror as Balbuena made the fatal leap off the raised platform.
Among them was Jairo Torres, one of the two Good Samaritans who helped rescue Ferni from under the train.
‘I was paralyzed at first, just like everyone,’ Torres, a 36-year-old Bronx construction worker, told the Daily News. ‘But then I just jumped… I didn’t do it to be a hero… it was immediate.’
Rush hour commuters watched in horror as Balbuena made the fatal leap off the platform. Jairo Torres, 36, and Cesar Dominguez, 29, jumped onto the tracks to see if Balbuena or Ferni had survived. They coaxed the young girl out from under the train and lifted her to safety
Caraballo described Balbuena as an ‘angel’ and devoted father who struggled with depression
‘He is not a bad person,’ Caraballo said. ‘I don’t know what was going through his mind in that moment, but he’s not like that. He loved this little girl’
Torres and another witness, 29-year-old Cesar Dominguez, braced for the worst as they crouched down to look under the train.
The two bodies under the train were motionless at first, but then Ferni, wearing a bright pink backpack, shifted.
‘When she moved her hand I said thank God she’s alive,’ Torres said. ‘I said to myself: “The girl is alive, the girl is alive!”
‘It was the first thing I thought of, because there’s always a space between the train and the track. I knew in my heart she was alive.’
Unable to crawl under the train because of the electrified tracks, Torres and Dominguez called out to the terrified child as she tearfully cried: ‘Papi, papi.’
Ferni made her way out and Torres picked her up, passing her to a man on the platform, Antonyo Love.
Torres stayed on the scene until Carabello arrived.
‘She hugged me and thanked me and cried of course, and that was everything,’ he said.
Love said he tried to reach Balbuena but he was too far under the train and wasn’t responding.
‘It’s not easy. It still hasn’t sunk in. God give me strength,’ Caraballo said hours after the incident Monday morning. She and Balbuena are pictured in an old Facebook photo
Caraballo thanked God for allowing her young daughter to escape physically unscathed
Balbuena was pronounced dead at the scene. Ferni was taken to Jacobi Medical Center and released with a clean bill of health hours later.
‘Medically, thank God, everything is fine — she doesn’t have any fractures,’ Caraballo told the Daily News on Monday.
She described Balbuena as an ‘angel’ who was devoted to his children and struggled with depression.
‘He is not a bad person,’ Caraballo said. ‘I don’t know what was going through his mind in that moment, but he’s not like that. He loved this little girl.’
She added: ‘It’s not easy. It still hasn’t sunk in. God give me strength.’
- If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
- For confidential support, call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.
- For confidential support in Australia LIFELINE: 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800