Officials acknowledged that a popular crossing guard died after being hit by a dump truck while working in Queens, New York, last Friday.
Krystyna Naprawa, 63, was on duty in Queens’ Woodhaven area when she was struck by a truck after assisting pedestrians about 8 a.m. local time.
According to a spokesperson for the New York Police Department (NYPD), a “Kenworth dump truck operated by a 39-year-old male was making a right turn southbound on Woodhaven Boulevard and Westbound Atlantic Avenue, where he struck the pedestrian, an on-duty NYPD school crossing guard, who was standing in a marked crosswalk.”
The driver’s name is Hector Yepes. Yepes was charged with failing to yield and failure to take due care and is scheduled to appear in court on November 9.
The incident is still being investigated by the NYPD’s highway district crash team, according to a representative for the department.
Naprawa has lived in Howard Beach for 40 years after moving to the United States from Poland. She worked as an NYPD school crossing guard for 13 years.
Following the deadly tragedy, New York Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban issued a statement on X (previously known as Twitter) expressing the department’s condolences to Naprawa’s family.
“Every school day, parents in the 102nd Precinct put their children’s lives in SCG Naprawa’s hands — and every day, she was there to keep them safe. This morning was no different, and SCG Naprawa’s loss is a tragic reminder of the very real dangers our school crossing guards face in the performance of their duty,” the message said.
“But, despite these risks, she chose to put the safety of others over her own,” Commissioner Caban said. And today, our hearts are heavy as we honor SCG Naprawa’s service and her tireless dedication to her community. Please keep praying for her family and loved ones.”
The statement was also published by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who captioned it, “Krystyna Naprawa represented the best of our school crossing guards and the NYPD. Her commitment to her job and community did not go unnoticed and it shows from the outpouring of love. My prayers are with her family and all those who knew her.”
Naprawa is the third crossing guard to be hit by a car “in a matter of months,” according to the crossing guards’ union, District 37 Local 372. In a statement issued on Friday, the union’s executive director, Henry A. Garrido, stated that “any [deaths] over zero are unacceptable.”
“We are deeply saddened by the devastating loss of School Crossing Guard Krystyna Naprawa,” Garrido said in a statement. “These heroes put their lives on the line for our kids and neighborhoods every day, and today’s tragedy makes that stark fact unavoidable.”
On Monday evening, a candlelight memorial was held for Naprawa.
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