NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There was a family tragedy at a Bronx subway station Monday morning.
Police say a 45-year-old man holding his young daughter jumped onto the tracks as a train pulled into the station.
The man is dead, and the little girl was injured.
CBS2’s Nick Caloway spoke with a good Samaritan who helped save the child.
It all happened in front of a packed platform of commuters. The father grabbed the little girl by the wrist and pulled her on to the tracks.
Somehow, that little girl made it out alive.
Cell phone video shows the little girl emerging from under the train scraped and bruised, but alive.
The man who helped pull that little girl from under the train is Jairo Torres.
“I never think about anything. I just care about saving the life of the baby,” he told Caloway.
Just moments earlier, at around 8 a.m., Torres says the girl’s father was talking on the phone when he suddenly grabbed the girl and jumped onto the tracks.
The southbound 4 train was approaching the Kingsbridge Road station. It slowed down, but couldn’t stop in time.
While most everybody else watched in horror, Torres jumped down to the tracks, and saw that the 45-year-old man was killed instantly. But then he saw the little girl was moving.
“She says ‘What happened to my daddy?’ I said ‘Don’t look at your daddy. Come to me. Crawl like a puppy,'” Torres said.
The girl crawled out, inch by inch. She was saved because the tiny girl fell flat in between the tracks, and stayed there. Torres placed her safely on the platform.
Witnesses are calling him a hero, but he says he just had to help get that little girl to safety.
“I didn’t do it because people call me a hero. I do it because of the baby. Because in my heart, I feel the baby is still alive. And the I’m all right. The baby is still alive,” he said.
Torres took the day off work Monday, but he plans to return to work tomorrow, and he plans on taking the train.
Witnesses who saw the tragedy unfold were traumatized.
“I’m a mom, and this devastated me like crazy. I watched it firsthand and I’m absolutely so thankful that she’s all right,” witness Jennifer Hub said.
“This is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family members as well as with our train operator — this is a traumatic event for everyone involved,” the MTA said in a statement.
The girl’s mother, Niurka Caraballo, met the child at the hospital. Torres stopped by to make sure she was OK.
The girl returned home Monday evening in the arms of her godfather, suffering only some scrapes and bruises.
“My little girl is in perfect condition thanks to god and the angels that protected her,” Caraballo said. “Those living angels with my little girl. Thank you, thank you.”
Police sources say the girl’s father intentionally jumped onto the tracks and was killed instantly, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reports, but it’s unclear why he jumped. Police did not find any kind of note and they are working to trace the calls he made before he jumped.
“He was just quiet. He just always to himself with the kids, so nobody knew what was going on,” one family friend said.
“He was a good dad. I’m just surprised. Why would he do it?” another family friend said.
“Everything is good except for the absence of my husband,” Caraballo said.