The life of a ‘loving, kind and beautiful’ actress was cut way too short, as Helen McDonald-Phalon died after being struck by a New York City subway train. She was just 21-years old.
Helen McDonald-Phalon, 21, was killed on April 20 at the Union Square subway station, according to the New York Post. The aspiring actress was standing on the platform for the 4/5/6 train line around 3:30 am when she somehow wedged herself between a train and the platform. As the train pulled out of the station, she was unable to free herself and was dragged from the platform and onto the roadbed. After falling onto the tracks, she was struck by an incoming 6-train, according to authorities. She was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency services, and an investigation as to how this tragedy happened is still ongoing.
The young woman, who had been a singer, dancer, and actress since childhood, moved to New York City from her native South Carolina in pursuit of becoming an actress. “She was a loving, kind, amazing, beautiful, talented woman, and she slipped on the train and the train took off and that’s it,” her heartbroken mother, Ann McDonald, told the New York Post on April 22. “She was working and just trying to make it. She had a bad day at work, some customer was rude to her, and she went out to blow off some steam and she slipped on the subway and fell.”
Helen worked at ThinkGeek, who confirmed her death in a Facebook post on April 21. “This Holiday weekend has brought with it some tragic news. This Saturday we lost one of our Lead Geeks, Helen McDonald-Phalon, to an unfortunate accident,” the company wrote (h/t PEOPLE). “She was an amazing person to work with and simply a good-hearted individual.” The company began a GoFundMe page to help her family during this period of mourning.
“Helen was a deeply caring, empathetic, and most of all humorous person. A true beacon of joy and positivity to all those fortunate enough to know her, or know of her. Tragically her light was extinguished too early,” the page reads (as of April 22, it had raised over $5,000). “Though this loss has dimmed our lives for the moment, we keep her memories alive in our hearts. We love you, Helen!”