The father-of-three who was knocked onto subway tracks during a scuffle and fatally struck by a train in Queens Monday was rushing home to bring his wife to a doctor’s appointment, the grieving widow said in a new interview.
Hilda Rojas had been waiting for her husband Heriberto Quintana, 48, to take her to dialysis treatment — but when he never showed up, she learned he’d been killed on his commute.
“I want justice for my husband because they took his life, just because of a phone. He was my helper. He was my provider, and now I’m alone,” Rojas told PIX 11 as she sobbed.
In an interview with CBS News, Rojas said her husband was a devoted father to a 14-year-old and two adult children and he was a kind man who didn’t fight with anyone.
The couple had been in the US for decades after immigrating to the country from Mexico, and Quintana had been working in construction to support his family, she told CBS News.
Just a week ago, he changed jobs, which is why he’d started taking the train, she said.
Quintana had been waiting for the train at the Roosevelt Avenue-Jackson Heights station during rush hour Monday evening when he bumped into Carlos Garcia and accidentally knocked the man’s phone onto the subway tracks, cops said.
“The conflict started by my dad accidentally pushing the guy, bumped him. And I guess the guy dropped his phone on the train tracks. And the guy got mad, and that’s when the conflict started – the fight. It’s crazy, over a damn cell phone,” Demsi, one of Quintana’s sons, told PIX 11.
Garcia demanded Quintana retrieve his phone for him and when he apparently refused, the two began scuffling on the platform, police said.
During Garcia’s arraignment on manslaughter charges late Tuesday, prosecutors said he punched Quintana in the face, which caused him to roll off the platform just as an oncoming F train was barreling into the station.
He died from blunt force injuries and his death has been ruled a homicide, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said.
Rojas has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Quintana’s funeral expenses. The family is hoping to bring him to his native Mexico where he can be buried.
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