In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the Woodhaven community mourns the tragic loss of a beloved crossing guard, as reported by WNBC.
Krystyna Naprawa, 63, dedicatedly stood watch at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, ensuring the safety of pedestrians. Tragically, while assisting five individuals across the street, a dump truck made a right turn from Woodhaven Boulevard onto Atlantic Avenue, fatally striking her.
The devastating incident occurred on October 20th, only weeks after Naprawa's September 28th birthday. Having immigrated to New York City from Poland four decades ago, she was a proud resident of Howard Beach. Her commitment to the community shone through her 13 years of service as an NYPD crossing guard since 2010.
Local residents were deeply affected by the news, recalling her warm greetings and genuine interest in their well-being. One neighbor shared, "She always had a smile on her face. She'd ask about our families and was just so caring."
Hector Yepes, the 39-year-old driver of the dump truck, remained at the scene. The NYPD subsequently issued him a desk appearance ticket, citing his failure to yield to a pedestrian and exercise due care.
NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban expressed the department's profound sorrow, acknowledging the dedicated service and inherent risks associated with the role of a school crossing guard. He honored Naprawa's unwavering commitment, stating, "SCG Naprawa was entrusted with the safety of children day in and day out. Her loss is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices these courageous individuals make."
Echoing these sentiments, District Council 37 emphasized the risks faced by crossing guards, highlighting that Naprawa is the third such guard to be involved in a recent collision in the city. Urging the city to prioritize the safety of these essential workers, the council emphasized that even one such incident is one too many.