Released footage captured the tragic accident that took the life of a longtime New York City crossing guard, struck by a dump truck while standing in the crosswalk.
(Video: New York Post)
Shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 20, a rainy Friday morning in Queens, 63-year-old Krystyna Naprawa could be seen in a yellow raincoat as she escorted pedestrians across Atlantic Ave. not far from PS 60. While more than half a dozen crossed, including a woman pushing a stroller, a dump truck could be seen negotiating the turn unaware of Naprawa’s presence.
The harrowing footage showed the truck as it impacted with the crossing guard sending her stumbling to the pavement where she was then fatally run over just as the crossing signs switched to their red caution countdown.
At the time of the accident, Naprawa had served nearly 13 years with the New York City Police Department and Police Commissioner Edward Caban had released a statement that began, “Our department is in mourning today, as we grieve the loss of one of our own.”
“School Crossing Guard Krystyna Naprawa, who had served with the New York City Police Department for nearly 13 years, dedicated her life to protecting the most vulnerable among us,” he continued. “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.”
— Edward A. Caban (@NYPDPC) October 20, 2023
“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,” Caban went on before adding, “our hearts are heavy as we honor SCG Naprawa’s service and never forget her unwavering commitment to her community.”
A video shared by the NYPD that same day documented the decedent’s arrival at the medical examiner’s office where lines of officers and fellow crossing guards saluted her service to the city.
Our hearts are heavy today as we grieve the loss of our 13-year Veteran, School Crossing Guard Krystyna Naprawa. We will never forget her and her commitment to service. Our prayers and love are with her family and anyone who was blessed to know her. pic.twitter.com/ytpn39CJRy
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) October 20, 2023
Likewise, her funeral was marked with an honor guard and a helicopter flyover as crossing guards filled the pews at Saint Helen’s RC Church in Queens Thursday and NYC Mayor Eric Adams (D) spoke, less than one week after the accident.
Today, we said our final goodbyes to School Crossing Guard Krystyna Naprawa — who was tragically taken from us last week.
Krystyna was a natural at her job — always focused on the children and their safety. The NYPD was blessed to count her among New York’s Finest, and we will… pic.twitter.com/BCy8RAFmoD
— Edward A. Caban (@NYPDPC) October 26, 2023
On social media, Adams had posted, “When I think of our school crossing guards, I picture people like Krystyna Napraw. She was so devoted to making sure our kids made it to school safely, and the community she served loved her.”
“Today, we laid her to rest but I know she’ll still be watching guard. Rest in peace,” he added.
When I think of our school crossing guards, I picture people like Krystyna Naprawa.
She was so devoted to making sure our kids made it to school safely, and the community she served loved her.
Today, we laid her to rest but I know she’ll still be watching guard. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/h5Z1ZUF8D3
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) October 26, 2023
As for the driver, 39-year-old Hector Yepes employed with Belleville, New Jersey’s Manolos Trucking LLC, he was later arrested and charged with failure to yield and failure to exercise due care, misdemeanor charges with penalties up to 15 days imprisonment and/or a $500 fine. The New York Daily News indicated he had been released after receipt of a desk appearance ticket and that he was scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 9.
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