The man who fatally snapped his neck while jumping a subway turnstile in Queens is being remembered as “vibrant, loving” father of a 4-year-old boy.
Christopher De La Cruz, 28, was pronounced dead after the incident at the Forest Hills-71st Avenue train station in Queens early Sunday.
The sickening surveillance footage shows him trying to jump over a turnstile after he entered the subway station, initially falling and stumbling before losing his balance and crashing onto his head.
“Chris was a vibrant, loving, free-spirited character. He was a son, a father, a friend, and my brother,” Brian De La Cruz wrote in a GoFundMe page set up for the grieving family’s funeral costs.
“In the wake of his death I have been reminded why I have been so lucky to have been his brother. He was the kindest soul. He was loved by so many people and impacted everybody that he came across,” Brian continued.
The GoFund me page, which raised more than $16,000 of its $30,000 goal by Thursday morning, included a photo of a smiling Christopher with his beaming son sitting on his shoulders.
Another image shows the father and son on a merry-go-round.
“If there was one thing in this world that my brother wanted to be remembered for, it was his love for his son. Chris is survived by a 4 year old, Neithyn, who meant the world to him,” his brother wrote.
“Anyone who has ever spoken to Chris, for even a brief moment has probably seen my nephews face or heard about the love my brother had for him,” Brian continued.
“We will never be able to (replace) him, but in honor of my brother we wanted the remainder of donations – after funeral costs – to go to his son. We will be setting up a college fund in his name,” he added.
The fundraiser also includes a statement by a woman named Daisy.
“Christopher the light you shined was beyond this world; your contagious laughter, your whole aura radiated love to its core. The purest of souls, because you would share whatever you had, even like splitting the last slice in half,” she wrote.
“Your son will always know of your name, your love & all the love you ever gave him & will continue to give him from beyond this dimension. I love you,” Daisy added.
It was unclear whether Daisy is the boy’s mother.
Police said De La Cruz was pronounced dead at the scene after “attempting to evade the fare.”