Woman with baby in stroller who fell down NYC subway steps may have died from medical condition

Her fall sparked a public discussion about safety and accessibility at the city's subway stations.
Image: A young mother fell down the steps of the Seventh Avenue subway station on 53rd Street in Manhattan on Jan. 28, 2019.
A young mother fell down the steps of the Seventh Avenue subway station on 53rd Street in Manhattan on Jan. 28, 2019.WNBC

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By Minyvonne Burke and Adam Reiss

A Connecticut women who fell down stairs at a subway station in New York City while holding a stroller with her 1-year-old daughter in it may have died from a medical condition, a medical examiner said Wednesday.

Malaysia Goodson, of Stamford, Connecticut, was found unconscious on the platform of a subway stop at Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street just before 8 p.m. ET on Monday, according to the New York City Police Department.

Authorities said Goodson, 22, was taken to Mount Sinai West Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her daughter was conscious when police arrived at the station and was treated by first responders. Family members told NBC New York that the daughter, named Rhylee, was not injured and is with her father.

Dr. Barbara Sampson, chief medical examiner of New York City, told NBC News that determination of Goodson's cause of death is still pending, but "there is no significant trauma, and this fatality appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition.”

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Malaysia Goodson, 22, fell down the stairs in a subway station in Manhattan while carrying her 1-year-old daughter in a stroller on Jan. 28, 2019.NBC News

Goodson’s family told NBC New York that they used to live in the city and she was there visiting a cousin. They said they think she may have been alone with her daughter when she went to the subway station.

Initially, Goodson's death sparked conversation about the safety and accessibility at subway stations across the city. The station where Goodson was found with her daughter, who had been in a stroller, has two escalators that go up and no elevator.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a tweet that her death should have never happened.

“The subway system is not accessible for everyone and that's an environment the MTA should not allow,” he posted Tuesday.

“The conditions of our train stations are a life-threatening issue. We need increased accessibility in every station. That means elevators and escalators that service both directions,” New York state senator Jessica Ramos said in a tweet Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a statement that Goodson's death was a "heartbreaking tragedy."

”While the ultimate cause of the event is being investigated ... we know how important it is to improve accessibility in our system," a spokesperson for the MTA said.

The spokesperson added that a preliminary investigation found that the stairs, railing and floor at the station were in good condition. The spokesperson added that the city's transit chief has a plan to add 50 elevators to subway stations over the next five years and to ensure that subway riders "will never be more than two stops away from a station with an elevator."