Bronx commuter Jairo Torres was headed into the city for just another day of work Monday when he witnessed a scene so horrific it momentarily froze him in place on his crowded subway platform.
A depressed father, arguing over the phone with his wife, jumped in front of an incoming 4 train at the Kingsbridge Road station — and hauled his tiny daughter along with him in the suicidal leap.
Screams erupted from the shocked passengers, including 36-year-old Torres.
“I was paralyzed at first, just like everyone,” said the Bronx construction worker. “But then I just jumped. ... I didn’t do it to be a hero .. it was immediate."
As Torres leapt onto the tracks in front of the motionless train, he braced himself for the worst. Along with another good Samaritan, Antonyo Love, 32, he crouched on his knees and peered into the dark space under the train.
He saw two bodies lying motionless — until the little girl with the bright pink backpack twitched just a bit.
“When she moved her hand I said thank God she’s alive,” Torres said. "I said to myself, ‘The girl is alive, the girl is alive!' It was the first thing I thought of, because there’s always a space between the train and the track. I knew in my heart she was alive.”
He called gently to the terrified child, who began crying and calling out “Papi, papi” for her father. The girl crawled toward Torres and Love, as both of them urged her forward.
“I couldn’t crawl under the train because of the electricity in the tracks,” he said. “Then I took her out and passed her to the person on the platform.”
Later, after meeting her grateful mother, Niurka Caraballo, he exchanged hugs with both her and the little girl.
“She hugged me and thanked me and cried of course, and that was everything,” he said.
The girl’s dad, Fernando Balbuena, was killed, police said.