Man who tried save woman after Hoboken train crash shares his story

ByMallory Hoff, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, September 30, 2016
Man who tried to save woman from Hoboken train crash shares his story
Mallory Hoff talks to the hero who tried to save a woman in the Hoboken train crash

JERSEY CITY (WABC) -- The man who rushed into chaotic train crash scene Thursday in Hoboken and gave comfort to the woman as she lay dying on the platform, is sharing his account of the event.

Rahman Perkins told Eyewitness News he wanted to help. He says it was the right thing to do. It was not a decision he had time to linger on.

After a New Jersey Transit train barreled through Hoboken terminal, Perkins said he knew he had to act fast.

"There was a lot of screaming and commotion going on," Perkins said.

"In that moment when so many people were running in one direction you were running in the other?" Eyewitness News asked.

"Yes. I'm healthy, I'm a strong, kid you know, just go help as many people as you can, and that's what I did," Perkins said.

29-year-old Perkins lives in Jersey City. He says just a few minutes earlier, his mom had dropped him off at the station. He was on his way to take a class.

When he ran into the rubble and the debris, he had no way of knowing what he would find.

"The first person I saw was a gentleman and he had a beam on his leg. So me and like five other guys picked up the beam and we moved it," Perkins said.

Then not far away, he would spot 34-year-old Fabiola Bittar de Kroon.

"I saw her legs under a beam, so we moved the beam and she was just right there, and I just like tried to give her as much attention as I could," Perkins said.

Perkins said he stayed with her, and he was hopeful.

"I could tell she could hear me, but I was just telling her like focus on your family, at that point I didn't know she had a daughter, I didn't know she had a husband, I was just like, focus on your family, focus on them I'm with you, you're going to be all right just fight," Perkins said.

We now know she had just dropped her toddler off at day care. She was waiting for a train she wouldn't catch.

She had worked in Brazil for a software company's legal department. She recently moved to New Jersey for her husband's career.

"I just tried to like comfort her, like, 'I am going to be here with you, I am not going to leave you by yourself,' and the police officers were like listen, 'you did all you could,'" Perkins said.

Those words, Perkins says, will stay with him, along with a wish that he could have kept Bittar de Kroon from becoming the lone fatality in a crash she didn't see coming.

He says he has since spoken with the victim's husband. They discussed those final moments that he will never forget.