A young Connecticut mother is dead after tumbling down a flight of stairs in a New York City subway Monday as she struggled to carry her 1-year-old child in a stroller.
Malaysia Goodson, 22, of Stamford, Conn., was enjoying a shopping trip to Midtown Manhattan when the tragic incident unfolded, according to The New York Times. She had brought her baby daughter, Rhylee, along for the trip and entered Seventh Avenue B-D-E subway station pushing a stroller with the little girl still nestled inside.
The station isn’t equipped with elevator, however, forcing Ms. Goodson to haul the bulky stroller and her daughter down the subway steps. On her descent, she lost somehow lost balance and tumbled down the stairs, onto the platform.
Authorities said Goodson was unconscious and unresponsive when they arrived at the station just before 8 p.m. Her daughter survived the fall and was treated at the scene before being reunited with her father and grandmother in the city.
Meanwhile, Goodson was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
News of the young mother’s death has rocked the city, stunning parents who all too often find themselves in the predicament of having to traverse crowded subway stairs with their kids’ strollers. Now, locals are calling on city officials to make the subways more accessible to not only parents, but the disabled and elderly.
“That’s terrifying, and there should be more elevator access in the subways,” Upper West Side resident Elisa Caref told CBS New York.
Resident Josh Frost, who has a small child and said he knows the stroller struggle all too well, argued that more people should be willing to help.
“Any time you see someone carrying a stroller you should stop and help them,” he said. “They need the help. I understand that they can’t put elevators and escalators everywhere, it’s just too expensive, but if you can help someone it can go a long way so something like that doesn’t happen.”
CBS New York reports that the Seventh Avenue station has two escalators, but no elevator. Moreover, only 118 of the 472 subway stations across the city’s five boroughs are equipped with elevators. Funding has been secured to upgrade accessibility to 26 more, according to the news station.
The New York Times highlighted that the city’s transit “authority has been slow to add elevators to its sprawling system. Washington’s [D.C.’s] subway, which was built in the 1970s and is much smaller than New York’s, has far more elevators.” The first underground station in New York’s system opened in 1904.
Police said Goodson wasn’t pushed, adding that it’s still unclear if any underlying medical conditions caused her to lose her balance. After the incident, Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) officials inspected the stairs, railing, and floor and didn’t find any issues.
MTA spokesman Shams Tarek called the young woman’s death “a heartbreaking tragedy” and said the agency is working with police to investigate the matter. Although a medical examiner is still working to determine Goodman’s official cause of death, relatives told the New York Post that she had a thyroid condition and had been complaining of headaches as of late.
“I don’t know, maybe she was starting to feel faint,” her grieving mom, Tamika Goodson, said.
Sources told the outlet that Goodson had no bruises on her body, leading them to believe she suffered a medical emergency and died from that rather than the fall.
Her cousin, Ronshuana Anthony, said Goodson’s daughter was the light of her life.
“Malaysia just gave so much of her self,” Anthony told The New York Times. “She’d give her last breath to [Rhylee] if she could.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for the little girl’s education. So far, the page has raised over $10,000.
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