An 88-year-old retired U.S. Coast Guard veteran who worked as a school crossing guard died Tuesday while protecting two children from an oncoming speeding vehicle.
For the past five years, Bob Nill has been the crossing guard near Christ the King Parish School in Kansas City, Kansas.
He died after being hit by a car early Tuesday while working at his crossing duty at the school.
According to WDAF-TV, witnesses told police that Nill pushed two children out of the way of the oncoming vehicle before he was struck and killed.
HERO: An 88-year-old school crossing guard saw a speeding car approaching and pushed two children out of the way in the crosswalk before he was struck and killed. Rest in peace, sir. https://t.co/pCF640WGDB
— FOX 35 Orlando (@fox35orlando) February 19, 2020
The school community is left saddened and grateful that Nill had been so vigilant.
The children liked Nill, giving him gifts on Valentine’s Day just last week, Christ the King Parish School principal Cathy Fithian said.
“We teach our students at Christ the King to know that we are here to protect them and they need to listen,” Fithian told The Kansas City Star.
“We’re just so blessed that he was there.”
Nill served in the U.S. Coast Guard and went on to a career in banking, his family told WDAF.
After retirement, he was not content to simply sit around.
Nill enjoyed staying busy, and decided to become a crossing guard to help children and stay active.
“This was something I think he felt like he could help children and help himself feel good about what he was doing,” Randy Nill, Bob’s nephew, told WDAF.
Nill took his job seriously, enough so to sacrifice his own life to ensure child safety.
“What my Uncle Bob did for just getting little kids across the street seemed probably trivial to some people, but for him, it was a really important job, and now, we really know how important it was. He maybe saved some lives,” Randy Nill said.
Kansas City Mayor David Alvey released a statement about Nill’s death, offering condolences to Nill’s family and his greater community.
“I offer my deepest sympathies to the family of the crossing guard, and I offer our gratitude on behalf of our residents for his selfless sacrifice in protecting our children,” Alvey said.
“The Unified Government staff extends their heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the employee’s family, friends, and those affected by this tragedy.”
WDAF reported the driver of the vehicle did remain at the scene and was taken to the hospital.
Officers are investigating the situation, and it was unclear if the driver will face charges.
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