The 5-year-old girl who escaped death when her suicidal father fatally jumped in front of a Bronx train keeps asking for her dad, her mom said Tuesday.
“She is asking for her father,” Niurka Caraballo, 41, told reporters in Spanish of her miracle daughter, Ferni Balbuena, outside the family’s Bronx home.
The child was in the arms of her dad, Fernando Balbuena, 45, when he leaped in front of the incoming Manhattan-bound 4 train at the Kingsbridge Road station — just blocks from the family’s home — during Monday’s morning rush before horrified straphangers.
Dramatic cellphone video captured the moment the virtually unscathed child crawled out from under the subway car that had just ended her father’s life and toward the outstretched arms of a good Samaritan on the tracks.
A family member said Balbuena battled depression but his dire final act still caught them off guard. The mother, Niurka Caraballo also spoke to outlets and shared great things about her husband despite putting their daughter in danger.
“He is not a bad person,” Niurka Caraballo said in Spanish as she left Jacobi Medical Center with her miracle daughter. “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 that he was “an angel,” loving with his children. A good father. Responsible. Really, I don’t know what happened.”
According to The New York Daily News, Fernando Balbuena called his wife on the phone before making the fatal leap, a police source said.
“Goodbye,” Fernando Balbuena said, according to the source. “Take care of the kids.’”
It’s still unclear what made him jump to his death. However, in addition to his wife and daughter he also leaves behind two boys.