10 January 2008

Crystal Rose Klett, R.I.P.

It must have been about half way through the year in Mr. Allen's fourth grade class at P.S. 185 when Crystal arrived. I recall she had moved up from Florida with her mum. She was quiet and demure but she was confident. And when she spoke, she spoke deliberately with a fleck of a southern accent that naturally the entire class found absolutely hysterical and incredibly odd; fourth graders can be quite cruel. I could see her on a wraparound porch in Florida drinking a mint julep and twirling a parasol. Even at that age, that's what her voice sung. A nine or ten year old from Florida has already grown up vastly different than a nine or ten year old from Brooklyn has. Using what I know now Crystal was like a JonBenét type; a cute little girl who grew up winning child beauty pageants, destined for the stage and screen.

I don't remember much else about Crystal, sadly. But when a friend of mine told me about her accident the name rang a bell and suddenly all this stuff came flooding back into focus. Funny how the catacombs of the mind work. Like a mental pack rat, a memory hoarder, all this stuff is buried in piles among piles inside your head, some stuff you'll never need to access again, but then one day someone shines a flashlight in there and suddenly you're sitting on the floor of your storage space brain reading old newspaper clippings, dusting off old love letters and laughing at mix tape track listings.

I remembered this little pixie in fourth grade walking bravely into the classroom, you know that camaraderie, its not easy to walk in late to the party from a different part of town. She was a fish out of water. I can recall Mr. Allen yelling at her once or twice but only because I remember her name "Crystal". It wasn't a name you heard very often growing up in Brooklyn and Mr. Allen was pretty high strung. He would take breaks from reading us The Lion, the Witch and the goddamn Wardrobe to scream at us. He wore ski lodge sweaters, tan khaki pants and grey and blue New Balance sneakers. I think they fired him the following year.

Crystal and I fell out of touch and she became an actress. I was looking at her resume and it just made me sad. Seemed like she was landing work and doing well in a few soap operas, Saturday Night Live and a bunch of television shows. Plus she was one of my AFTRA sisters.

Crystal and her mum must have been driving down south for Thanksgiving when she got into an accident on the Turnpike near Linden, New Jersey.

Authorities said Crystal was traveling southbound in the truck lane around 9:15 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21st when she lost control of her 1997 Dodge Neon and crashed into a tractor trailer that was also traveling southbound.

Crystal's mum, Violet, was treated for hip and rib injuries at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Hospital in New Brunswick. Police said the 58-year-old truck driver from Sayreville was not injured.

Crystal, however, was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 29-years old.

Friends and family of Crystal have organised a memorial for her this Saturday at Lutheran Trinity Church on the corner of 90th and 3rd. It begins at 2 p.m.

R.I.P., Crystal.


Anonymous said...

RIP beautiful Crystal

Anonymous said...

thank you

Anonymous said...

I was in that class and I vividly remember when Crystal joined us. She will be greatly missed.

Anonymous said...

i miss her she was my computer teacher

Anonymous said...

Nice feature on a beautiful girl! She is so missed!
Thanks, Mel

Anonymous said...

crystal klett i like to call Ms.Klett she was my computer teacher at P.S. /I.S 192 she was the coolest she knew everything and now look what happened shes gone forever she didnt even anything wrong so what the fuck now we have a new teacher Ms. Behan what ever i call her Bacon and she sucks ass i hate her and always will we will always reamber you Ms.Klett

Vincent Bellino said...

I was on the ambulance that responded to her call. I, as well as my crew, all felt the same sadness with this call. Such a beautiful young lady, in such an unfortunate accident.

Violet Klett said...

The true story about what happened on the New Jersey turnpike between mile marker 98 and 97. The night of November 21, 2007. The night my daughter Crystal Rose Klett was killed.
Traffic was running smoothly, not fast, and not slows but steady. A dry night, good roads when all of a sudden Crystal looking in her rearview mirror must have noticed the tracker trailer barreling down on her and she said to me “what is he crazy” and before I could answer there was a terrible bang in the rear of our car. Which caused our car to spin around twice like a top and when Crystal finally got control of the steering wheel she yelled “Oh my god mom”. I being in the passenger seat looked towards her and saw these huge headlights coming towards us. And then another crushing blow to our vehicle and causing Crystal to die instantly and I left with broken ribs and pelvis and extreme mental anguish upon finding out my daughter died upon impact. Such a senseless accident should have never happened.
The first tracker trailer that hit us fled the scene and now it is considered a vehicular homicide. It is currently still under investigation. But both tracker trailers were going to fast and too close to our car to stop. There should be a special lane for tracker trailers, since they are constantly speeding and getting to close to vehicles to be able to stop.
Crystal was an excellent and never had an accident, nor a parking ticket, always kept our car in top shape.
Now if this incompetent reporter, Ana Alaya who works for the Star Ledger newspaper to take the time to investigate what really happened, instead of stating only one tracker trailer was involved, this tracker trailer who fled the scene might have been caught by now and its bad enough my daughter has been killed by these menacing vehicles but Ana Alaya had the nerve to say in her news article that Crystal ran into the tracker trailer.
It’s almost funny if this wasn’t such a sad tragedy, as for of her to have done that she would have had to be driving sideways.
Ana Alaya news reporter for the Star Ledger gives other reporters a bad name for her inadequate reporting of the facts, and the police report confirms my statement. I lost the most precious person in my life, my daughter Crystal. Who were a wonderful person and a very terrific daughter. She will forever remain in my heart and thoughts forever.

Violet Klett
(Proudest lady to be her mom)

Gotham City Insider said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Mrs. Klett.

I'm honoured to have your words immortalised here.

Quite apparently your beautiful daughter is not someone who is going to be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

A very nice teacher she was to me and the best of all.The best 1 st grade teacher. i am really going to miss her very much and she will be forever in my heart.it really hurts me that ill never be able to see you again but I will always remember you. RIP Ms. KLett. i love you very much..Lissette [your student]

Cliff said...

THank you VIncent for remembering my daughter. I wish you could have known her and also to her students who still remember how much she loved them and how much they loved her. You've all been a great comfort to me in this tragic time of my life.


Anonymous said...

She was very kinda and good person, she was my computer teacher in my school. She didnt work that much in there till this hapened

Anonymous said...

she was a very nice n beautiful teacher!! we miss her sooo much! she was da best computer teacher ever!

Anonymous said...

ms. klett was like the awsome teacher ever at P.S/I.S 192. i miss her so much now that she is gone i hope she rest in peace. she was the coolest teacher everrrrrr!!!!!! and now look what happened to her. she died in a horrible car accident. and that stupid fukin drunk driver didnt even get a scratch on him. and now we have another dumb computer teacher (which by the way nobody like besides two or three students). i wish she were here i miss her so MUCHHHHHH1 i miss you ms. klett. RIP ms.klett RIP

Anonymous said...

I miss you sooo much Ms.klett =[ You were the best teacher ever! Now we have Ms. Behan =[

Anonymous said...

Ms. Klett was the best teacher we had even though the time we had together was cut short. She always had a smile on her face and didn't like to yell. The awful news was a big surprise to us. We were all heart broken and most of us shed tears, especially all the teachers. Ms. Klett was very young and didn't deserve to die. She had her whole life ahead of her.
RIP Ms. Klett

Sincerely, Tamara: Syeda: Liliana: Rafia <3

Anonymous said...

For Violet,

I don't know if you remember me it's Sandi. Crystal and I were best friends when we lived in the St.Augustine Shores. I have been trying to get ahold of you. Please email me if you can.

I knew Crystal growing up down here in Florida she was my best friend and I'll never forget her.

Sandi SKerp9@att.net

Anonymous said...

Crystal was one of my very best friends since hs. We met at 16 & liked the same boy, but did not like each other, needless to say, she got the boy, but I got one of the most wonderful people I was ever to have the great honor of knowing (the boy didn't last). For almost 15 years, we remained close, having falling outs here & there as friends do, but never forgetting what kept us strong. I was away at school when I found out she died & I remember being so overcome, all I could do was get on the 1st flight home. Seeing Violet so full of grief, I will never forget thinking that I could not imagine a day in her shoes, to lose something so precious & amazing. It is going on 2 yrs since she was taken from us & I still miss her every day. She will always be one of my very best friends. I am sure we will laugh like we used to when I see her again. I love you Crystal always & forever, Jo.