Mom Who Fatally Fell Down NYC Subway Stairs While Holding Baby May Have Suffered 'Medical Episode'

Malaysia Goodson may have suffered a fatal "medical episode" on Monday when she fell down a flight of stairs in a Manhattan subway station

Malaysia GoodsonCredit: Family Photo
Photo: Family Photo

A 22-year-old mother who died after falling down a flight of stairs in a Manhattan subway station on Monday may have suffered a fatal “medical episode,” police tell PEOPLE.

Malaysia Goodson was carrying her 1-year-old daughter, Rhylee, and the child’s stroller when she fell down the stairs in Midtown’s 7th Avenue station just before 8 p.m., a spokesman for the New York Police Department previously told PEOPLE.

Now, authorities say the fall may not have killed her.

“It may have been a medical episode,” an NYPD spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “There’s no indication that the fall may have caused her death. But we can’t know for sure until the [medical examiner] lets us know.”

Malaysia Goodson and her daughter. GoFundMe

Authorities responded to the scene and found Goodson “unconscious and unresponsive.” The little girl was not injured and was treated at the scene by emergency medical responders. She is now in the care of relatives, the spokesperson says.

Although New York’s Office of Chief Medical Examiner has not determined a cause of death for the mother, officials announced that Goodson’s death was not result from the fall.

“While the cause of death is pending in this case, we can state that there is no significant trauma, and this fatality appears to be related to a pre-existing medical condition,” Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

RELATED STORY: Young Mother Holding Her Baby Daughter Falls to Her Death Down New York Subway Station Stairs

Goodson’s family told the New York Post that she had a thyroid issue and had recently complained of headaches.

“I don’t know, maybe she was starting to feel faint,” Goodson’s mother, Tamika Goodson, told the Post.


The death has garnered attention, with many calling for a more accessible transit system.

“This is a heartbreaking tragedy that never should have happened,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Tuesday. “The subway system is not accessible for everyone and that’s an environment the MTA should not allow.”

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson weighed in on Facebook, writing: “The lack of accessibility in our subways is literally killing people. I am heartbroken by this tragedy, and am keeping this family in my thoughts. NYC must do more for families and the disabled.”

In a statement to WPIX, MTA officials expressed sadness over the incident, and highlighting its Fast Forward plan, which officials have said will address accessibility.

“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 statement reads.

“The Fast Forward Plan acknowledges and prioritizes this work as one of four key priorities, and aims to ensure that riders will never be more than two stops away from a station with an elevator.”

Goodson’s family has set up a GoFundMe in hopes of raising money for baby Rhylee.

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