New York: woman who died after subway fall may have had pre-existing condition

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Authorities say the death of a young woman who fell down stairs at a Manhattan subway station with her one-year-old daughter appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition.

The city’s chief medical examiner said on Wednesday the cause of death is still pending but that 22-year-old Malaysia Goodson, of Stamford, Connecticut, had no significant trauma.

Goodson was unconscious next to a toppled over stroller when police arrived at the Seventh Avenue station in midtown around 8pm on Monday. Her child was unharmed. Police say there were no witnesses.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which also is investigating, called Goodson’s death “a heartbreaking tragedy”.

Goodson was found unresponsive on the platform at the 7th Ave station in Manhattan around 8pm on Monday, New York police said. She was taken to Mount Sinai West hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Her daughter was not seriously hurt. She was found conscious and treated at the station.

Regardless of the ultimate cause of death, the tragedy was a nightmare scenario for many parents in New York, who are forced to carry strollers up and down subway stairs or rely on strangers for help.

Only about a quarter of the city’s 472 stations have elevators and very few have escalators.

In a statement on Tuesday, a Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman, Shams Tarek, said: “This is an absolutely heartbreaking incident. 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.”

The city comptroller, Scott Stringer, said: “As a parent one of my biggest fears was navigating my kids’ double stroller through our broken subway system. And it isn’t uncommon because only 24% of stations have elevators. It’s completely unacceptable. My heart goes out to [Goodson’s] family.”

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