Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Village family loses two in overseas car crash

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Two longtime Montgomery Village residents — a mother and daughter — died in a car accident in Poland on Monday.

Irena Koltunowicz Stuckey, 72, and her daughter Barbara Naleszkiewicz, 51, were killed in the two-car collision, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, said Naleszkiewicz's daughter, Alexandra, 23.

John Naleszkiewicz, Barbara's husband, was driving, and their 11-year-old daughter Nicole was in the car. Neither John nor Nicole suffered life-threatening injuries, Alexandra said on Tuesday. She and her brother Kristopher Naleszkiewicz, 27, planned to leave for Poland today.

"Dad was turning onto a small road, from the equivalent of Montgomery Village Avenue, and somebody was speeding, crashed into them, and their car flipped into a ditch," Alexandra said.

Koltunowicz Stuckey had been in Poland with Nicole since June. John and Barbara Naleszkiewicz arrived Thursday. Koltunowicz Stuckey will be buried in Poland, Alexandra said. Koltunowicz Stuckey is survived by her husband James Stuckey. They had lived in Montgomery Village for more than 30 years.

A memorial service and burial in Montgomery Village will be planned for Barbara.

John and Barbara Naleszkiewicz moved to Montgomery Village from Poland about 25 years ago. The family was involved in the 140-member Northcreek Neptunes Swim Team, one of Montgomery Village's largest. Kristopher and Alexandra both started with the team at an early age. Nicole had been swimming with the Neptunes until the last two summers, when she started going with her grandmother to Poland.

Barbara Naleszkiewicz was the Neptunes team representative for several years.

"She was — such a larger-than-life person," Alexandra said. "She was fun and outgoing and personable, always positive, always helpful."

News of the deaths spread quickly within the Village's swimming community, stunning Neptunes families.

"She was a major volunteer for us, she did just about every job for the swim team," said Clare Conlon, who has had five children on the swim team, several of whom swam with the Naleszkiewicz children. "… She was truly a wonderful, wonderful person, an incredible person. She just did so much stuff for the [Neptunes] swim team, and for the YMCA. It's really a great loss."