School crossing guard killed after getting fatally struck by dump truck driver near Woodhaven/Ozone Park border: NYPD

A woman was fatally struck at Atlantic Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard on Friday, Oct. 20, according to the NYPD.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A 63-year-old woman was killed after being struck by a truck driver at the border of Woodhaven and Ozone Park on Friday morning, according to authorities

Police say at approximately 8:04 a.m. on Oct. 20, officers responded to a 911 call of a woman found unconscious at the corner of Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue, within the confines of the 102nd Precinct.

Authorities identified the woman as Krystyna Naprawa, an established school crossing guard in the neighborhood. EMS responded to the scene and pronounced her dead, police said.

A woman reacts at the scene of a fatal collision in Woodhaven on Oct. 20. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A preliminary investigation by the NYPD’s Highway District Collision Investigation Squad revealed that Naprawa was in the crosswalk at the location when she was struck by a dump truck operated by  39-year-old Hector Yepes, of Newark, New Jersey, who was making a right-hand turn onto Atlantic Avenue, police officials said at the scene.

The vehicle operator remained on scene and was arrested and charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and to exercise due care.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. called the fatal collision “an immense tragedy.”

“Today our community suffered an immense tragedy as a crossing guard was killed by a truck on Woodhaven Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue,” Addabbo said. “Crossing guards put their lives on the line every day and should be applauded for their bravery and dedication to service. My thoughts and prayers, and that of my office team, are with the late crossing guard’s traditional family and occupational family.”

A school crossing guard reacts after the fatal collision in Woodhaven on Oct. 20. Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar said she spoke with Capt. Jeremy R. Kivlin, commanding officer of the 102nd Precinct, and expressed a readiness to provide assistance and support to the victim’s family.

“Ms. Naprawa was a beloved member of the community who devoted her life to the safety and education of our children. I am here for her family and offer them any help they need in this time of grief,” Rajkumar said. “I will continue to be in touch with the 102nd Precinct, Police Commissioner Edward Caban and Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez about this incident, and investigate the need for any safety upgrades to improve visibility at this dangerous intersection.” 

Council Member Joann Ariola also acknowledged the tragic incident and gave credit to the life of the deceased.

“Naprawa was a beloved crossing guard and Howard Beach resident, who has dutifully been serving with the NYPD since 2010. Our entire community mourns this truly tragic loss, and she and her family is certainly in all of our prayers. Rest in Peace, Krystyna. Thank you for your years of service to our city,” Ariola said.

Community Board 9 Chair Sherry Algredo, shared her condolences with the family of the victim and told QNS that this recent death serves as an unfortunate reminder of the support school crossing guards desperately need. 

In September, during a public safety town hall hosted by Assemblywoman Rajkumar, Algredo told top NYPD officials about the need for more school crossing guards and more measures to ensure their safety. 

“More safety measures need to be in place for these dangerous intersections and a better salary and benefit package for school crossing guards,” said Algredo. “Nevertheless, we all mourn and acknowledge that Krystyna will be greatly missed, as an angel who put our children safety first. Let’s remember this day and remember to say a kind thank you, when we pass school crossing guards on the street.”

At the end of last month, on Tuesday, Sept. 26, another 63-year-old crossing guard was struck by a driver in Maspeth. That victim did survive and the driver was charged with reckless endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refusing to take a breath test.