Mom With BABY DIES Falling Down Subway Stairs!
Tragedy struck in New York City on Monday when a woman carrying her one-year-old daughter in a stroller fell down the subway steps and died. Her child sustained minor injuries.
Malaysia Goodson was found unconscious and unresponsive at the bottom of the southbound 7th Avenue B, D and E station stairs just before 8 p.m.
The 22-year-old Stamford, Connecticut mother was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“I wish I could have helped her,” Shawn Goodson, her 23-year-old brother, said Tuesday. He described his sister as a protective, caring mother.
Ms. Goodson’s 1-year-old daughter, was found conscious and treated at the scene. She was reunited with her father and grandmother.
It was not clear whether Ms. Goodson suffered from a medical condition or if she was killed from the impact of the fall. The city’s medical examiner will determine her cause of death, officials said.
Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway, said in a statement that the agency would work with the police to investigate the Ms. Goodson’s death.
“This is a heartbreaking tragedy,” Mr. Tarek said.
While officials are continuing to probe the circumstances around Ms. Goodson’s fall, her death has shone a light on the lack of elevator service and accessibility issues that have long plagued the city’s subway system.
The Seventh Avenue station — on the B, D and E lines — where Ms. Goodson fell does not have an elevator. Only about a quarter of the subway system’s 472 stations have elevators, and the ones that exist are often plagued by malfunctions.
When the elevators are functioning properly, they are often small, odoriferous and positioned at the far ends of stations. That can make them frustrating for disabled subway riders who depend on them and an unappealing option for straphangers who do not.
“The conditions of our train stations are a life threatening issue,” State Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat from Queens, said on Twitter. “We need increased accessibility in every station.”
A lawsuit filed in 2017 against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway, described New York’s subway system as one of the least accessible in the country and accused the agency of violating the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.
The case, which was joined by the Justice Department in 2018, is still active, according to Disability Rights Advocates, which is representing the plaintiffs.
The subway’s accessibility issues have also posed a problem for a wide swath of riders beyond people with disabilities.
Parents and caregivers who rely on the city’s subway system face numerous barriers, according to Christine Serdjenian Yearwood, the founder of Up-Stand, an organization that works to make city life more accessible for parents.
In addition to problems with elevators, parents struggle to get strollers through subway gates and turnstiles, especially in stations with booths that are not staffed, Ms. Yearwood said.
But she said parents who sought to use the subway system had little alternatives beyond unwieldy strollers.
“There’s this period of time, where between maybe one year old and, like, four, where your child can’t really physically make a complete trip on their own two legs,” Ms. Yearwood said.
The authority has been slow to add elevators to its sprawling system, which first opened more than a century ago. Washington’s subway, which was built in the 1970s and is much smaller than New York’s, has far more elevators.
Mr. Byford embraced the cause when he announced a major plan to modernize the subway last year. The plan, Fast Forward, calls for increasing the rate of elevator installations, to more than 50 stations in the next five-year capital plan from 19 in the current capital plan.
Mr. Byford has also promised to add enough elevators to the subway system by 2025 so that no rider would be more than two stops from an accessible station. Mr. Byford’s proposal could cost $40 billion over ten years and has not been funded.
Currently, there are gaps as big as 10 stops between accessible stations in some places. Besides accessible stations, New Yorkers who rely on wheelchairs can use buses or Access-A-Ride, the city’s notoriously unreliable paratransit service.
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