Police identify man killed by car backing out of empty lot in Cape Coral

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

Cape Coral police have released the name of the man who was killed after a car backing out of a empty lot in Cape Coral hit and killed him on Wednesday.

77-year-old Ronald Nafke was moving a garden wagon in the empty lot just a few feet from his home when he was hit. He died after being taken to the hospital.

Nafke was a cherished neighbor for five years. Robert Bugaj knew Nafke and grew to adore his company. “Very, very nice, gentle person, you know, very lucky. I was very lucky to have him as a neighbor.”

When he found out about the tragic news, he was devastated. “This was, you know, a complete, bizarre, bizarre accident,” said Bugaj. “Our hearts stopped, our jaws dropped. And we were just in shock.”

Bugaj has been neighbors with Nafke’s widow, Joy, for 14 years. He said when Nafke moved in, he ensured she was taken care of.

“She needs a little bit of care. And he was there, you know, taking her out for walks and, you know, taking very, very good care of her,” Bugaj said.

Nafke didn’t just take care of Joy but his neighbors too. “I’m a snowbird. So initially, he kind of keeps an eye on the house for me, you know, while I’m away, makes the best chocolate chip cookies. You know, he always comes over, knocks on the door, brought over chocolate chip cookies,” said Bugaj. “Very dear loss. OK, he’s going to be missed by the neighbors, you know? And he will do everything just a walk might just wave hello, how’s it going? “

WINK News spoke with other neighbors who echoed Bugaj’s kind words about Nafke. Many of them have been checking in on his wife, Joy, who has a great support system in this community.

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