A Connecticut woman’s fatal fall down a flight of stairs at a Manhattan subway station this week appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition, New York’s chief medical examiner said Wednesday.
Malaysia Goodson, 22, died after falling down stairs inside midtown Manhattan’s Seventh Avenue B-D-E station on Monday while struggling to carry her 1-year-old child in a stroller. NYPD officers responded to the station around 8 p.m., where they found the young mother unconscious next to the toppled carriage.
Goodson’s 1-year-old daughter, Rhylee, wasn’t seriously injured in the incident and is now with family members.
“While the cause of death is pending in this case, we can state that there is no significant trauma, and this fatality appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement.
News of Goodson’s death rocked the city and sparked outrage over the lack of accessibility of the subway station system, specifically for parents with strollers, the elderly and those who are disabled. CBS New York reported that the Seventh Avenue station where Goodson fell has two escalators, but no elevator. Moreover, just 118 of the 472 subway stations across the city are equipped with elevators.
Andy Byford, who was appointed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) head of the subway system last year, told the Associated Press he hopes to add enough elevators to the system in the next five years so that no rider will be more than two stops away from an accessible station.
“This is an absolutely heart breaking incident,” said MTA spokesman Shams Tarek. “While the ultimate cause of the event is being investigated by the MTA, medical examiner, and the NYPD, we know how important it is to improve accessibility in our system.”
Following the incident, MTA officials said they inspected the stairs, railing, and floor and didn’t find any issues. I wasn’t immediately clear if Goodson’s fall was caused by an underlying medical condition.
The woman’s relatives told the New York Post earlier this week that Goodson suffered from thyroid issues 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.
The incident remains under investigation.