An 88-year-old school crossing guard has been hailed a hero after he died saving the lives of two children when he pushed them out of a car’s path.
Bob Nill, or Mr Bob to the children he looked after, was killed while he was patrolling outside Christ the King Catholic School in Kansas City. He had held two young boys back as they were about to cross the road when he saw the car racing towards them.
The driver didn’t see Nill’s red warning sign or the school’s flashing yellow lights and drove into Nill. He passed away after the collision.
The two young boys ran into the school in tears, with the principal of the school coming out to discover his body in the middle of the road, with first responders taking over the crossing.
Speaking to the Washington Post, the school’s principal, Cathy Fithian said: “I know he had it in his hand. It was right in the center of the road.”
Nill’s death has seen him hailed a hero by the local community, who are now mourning his death. The city’s mayor, David Alvey thanked Bob on behalf of residents for his ‘selfless sacrifice’ in protecting the children.
Christ the King school also issued a statement to parents asking them ‘to know that Mr Nill is a hero.’
The driver who struck and killed Nill did stop at the scene and reports say they weren’t intoxicated. Police spokesperson Jonathon Westbrook suggested that distracted driving was most likely to be the cause of the crash. Westbrook could not confirm if the driver was speeding.
According to CBS News, police said the driver had also been transported to the hospital with injuries and the investigation was ongoing.
Nill, who was a former sports coach, leaves behind his son Bart. He told the news outlet his dad had decided to take up a job as a crossing guard after he’d retired. He had then lost his wife soon after, which left him feeling lonely. The job gave him more purpose.
His son told the Washington Post: “It was the neatest thing in the world. It got him back on a schedule again, he got to sleep when he was supposed to – but it also allowed him to spend time with children again, because Dad, he just loved kids. You could sense that.”