KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WDAF/CNN) - An 88-year-old school crossing guard is being hailed as a hero after he saved two kids in front of a Kansas school from an approaching car before he was fatally struck.
Bob Nill, 88, was working the crosswalk Tuesday morning in front of Christ the King Parish School, a private Catholic school in Kansas City, Kansas. Officials say a speeding car hit and killed the crossing guard while he was out doing his job. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Witnesses told police he protected two kids by pushing them out of the way of the approaching vehicle.
Bob Nill’s family says his actions are no surprise and that extraordinary kindness and generosity were a part of his DNA. He had worked the crosswalk in front of the school for five years.
His family says he felt young at heart and didn’t want to spend his golden years sitting around. He had previously served in the Coast Guard and built a career in banking.
"This was something, I think, he felt like he could help children and help himself feel good about what he was doing," said Randy Nill, Bob Nill's nephew.
Elizabeth Germany’s grandchildren attend a public school nearby, and she says “Mr. Bob,” as the kids called him, would go the extra mile to keep students safe.
"He was very dedicated at what he did, cared about the kids. He made sure he stood out there with that sign and that they were safe," Germany said. "My prayers and thoughts go to the family. It's sad."
Families hope the incident is a wake-up call to appreciate community servants who protect kids and to remind drivers to be extra careful in school zones.
"People need to slow down. Even the buses, they need to slow down," Germany said.
The driver who hit Bob Nill stayed on scene afterward and was taken to the hospital for treatment and to talk with investigators. It is not yet known if that person will face any charges.
Police say the accident remains under investigation.