On a fateful morning in Woodhaven, Queens, the community witnessed a devastating incident that sent shockwaves of grief through the neighborhood. Krystyna Naprawa, a dedicated crossing guard who had served her community for a decade, was tragically struck and killed by a dump truck at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue.
Distraught loved ones, first responders, and community members gathered at the somber scene, expressing their sorrow over the loss of a remarkable woman who had been an integral part of their lives for years. Krystyna Naprawa, 63 years old, had touched the hearts of many with her kindness, commitment, and unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety of the children she guided across the busy streets.
Stephanie Peppel, a resident of Woodhaven, expressed the shock and disbelief felt by many, saying, “I’m shocked. She was a nice person.” Krystyna Naprawa had been not just a crossing guard but also a caring presence who ensured that children reached school safely, a responsibility she held dear.
Parents, recalling her warm and friendly nature, spoke of the reassurance she provided as she helped their children navigate the intersection. One woman shared her last conversation with Krystyna, highlighting the genuine care she offered: “It’s sad. She always says hi to me, hits to my kids. And she says I’ll see you tomorrow.”
The tragic incident occurred around 8 a.m. as Krystyna Naprawa carried out her duties as a school crossing guard. Preliminary investigations revealed that she was in the crosswalk when a red dump truck, operated by 39-year-old Hector Yepes, struck her. Yepes was making a right turn onto Atlantic Avenue, and he remained at the scene. He was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and exercise due care.
While Krystyna Naprawa’s family chose not to speak on camera, her friends shared their fond memories of her. Originally from Poland, she had lived in the United States for 40 years. Her friends described her as a kind and dedicated person, noting that she was an exceptional lady with a loving family.
Krystyna Naprawa resided in Howard Beach with her daughter and son-in-law and had a passion for cooking and gardening. Her sudden and tragic loss left the community in mourning.
The School Crossing Guard Union Local 372 raised concerns about the dangerous intersection near the school and advocated for additional crossing guards and speed bumps to enhance safety. They emphasized the importance of safeguarding those who protect the lives of children on a daily basis.
Mayor Eric Adams expressed his condolences, acknowledging Krystyna Naprawa’s dedication to her role as a crossing guard and the outpouring of love from the community. NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban paid tribute to her selflessness and commitment to the safety of others, highlighting the dangers faced by school crossing guards in the line of duty.
As the community mourns the loss of Krystyna Naprawa, they reflect on the sacrifices made by those who dedicate their lives to protecting the most vulnerable among us.
Remembering Krystyna Naprawa: A Life Dedicated to Safety
In the heart of Queens, New York, a dedicated crossing guard named Krystyna Naprawa made it her life’s mission to ensure the safety of the children in her community. For a decade, she had stood guard, guiding young students across busy intersections and instilling a sense of security in the hearts of parents.
But on one tragic morning in Woodhaven, the routine turned into a heart-wrenching event that would leave the community devastated. Krystyna Naprawa’s life was cut short when she was struck and killed by a dump truck at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue.
The news sent shockwaves through the neighborhood, leaving friends, family, and community members in mourning. Stephanie Peppel, a Woodhaven resident, expressed the disbelief shared by many: “I’m shocked. She was a nice person.” Krystyna was more than a crossing guard; she was a familiar face and a source of comfort for the children she guided.
Parents remembered her warmth and dedication as she ensured their children’s safety on their way to school. One woman recounted her last conversation with Krystyna, underscoring the genuine care and concern she provided to the community.
The incident occurred during the course of her duties as a school crossing guard, a role she cherished. Preliminary investigations indicated that she was in the crosswalk when the fatal collision occurred. The driver of the dump truck, Hector Yepes, remained at the scene and was later charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and exercise due care.
Krystyna Naprawa’s family, while declining to speak on camera, was embraced by the support of the community. Her friends, who knew her for years, shared their heartfelt memories of a woman who had immigrated from Poland four decades