A distraught Bronx dad said the final words “With God, with God, with God, here comes the train” before jumping in front of a subway car while holding his 5-year-old daughter, who miraculously survived, his wife revealed Tuesday.
Fernando Balbuena, 45, spoke those chilling last words in Spanish — “Con dios, con dios, con dios que alli viene el tren” — to wife Niurka Caraballo in a phone conversation that sent her running out of the couple’s Grand Concourse home to the nearby Kingsbridge Road station Monday morning, only to find it was too late.
“They [witnesses] speculate he was fighting with someone on the phone, but the only person he was on the phone with was me,” Caraballo, 41, said Tuesday in Spanish.
Balbuena scooped the couple’s daughter, Ferni, up into his arms and leaped into the path of a southbound No. 4 train, horrifying dozens of commuters packing the platform of the elevated station at 8 a.m.
Balbuena died, but his daughter escaped virtually unscathed, and was able to crawl along the track bed to the outstretched arm of a good Samaritan who lowered himself down to rescue her.
Though she’s physically fine, Ferni has yet to process the trauma of exactly what happened, asking for her dad, and believing he might still walk through the door, said Caraballo.
“Ferni was very close to him,” said Caraballo. “After what happened, she is saying, ‘Daddy is in the hospital. He hurt his stomach.’ ”
Now, both Ferni and her 2-year-old brother, Fernand, will be forced to grow up without their father.
Caraballo acknowledged Balbuena’s long-running battle with depression but said he was on medication, and that Monday’s act was stunning.
“My husband is a serious man, responsible, quiet and reserved,” she said. “He was in treatment, he took his medication. We are all in shock.”
Caraballo said she is hopeful Ferni is young enough that the trauma won’t be burned into her memory.
“It is going to be a process, her living through that,” she said.
But she’s grateful for every day she has with Ferni after her near-death experience.
“They are calling her the miracle girl,” said Caraballo. “My daughter was reborn yesterday.”