88-Year-Old ‘Hero’ Crossing Guard Lost His Own Life Saving Two Kids From a Speeding Car

May 23, 2020 Updated: May 23, 2020

A beloved 88-year-old crossing guard from Kansas City, Kansas, saved two children from the path of a speeding car but tragically paid with his own life.

Bob Nill had been employed as a crossing guard for Christ the King Catholic School since 2015, earning the affectionate nickname “Mr. Bob.” However, on Feb. 18, 2020, Nill was hit and killed by a speeding black sedan while saving the lives of two young boys, aged 8 and 11, who were otherwise in its path.

Witnesses told police he pushed two kids back before he was hit. His actions are no surprise to his family, who say extraordinary kindness and generosity were part of his DNA.

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎FOX4 News Kansas City‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٨ فبراير ٢٠٢٠

In a news release, Kansas City Police Department said that Nill was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition after the accident occurred around 8 a.m. that day but later succumbed to his injuries.

Nill came out of retirement to serve his local community. Christ the King Catholic School principal, Cathy Fithian, wished for him to be remembered for his caring nature and for his sacrifice.

Fithian explained to USA Today that the woman driving the black sedan ran through flashing yellow lights. She remained at the scene after colliding with Nill, who yelled at the two young boys to step back and held up his “Stop” sign before being struck by the car himself.

“He loved the kids,” Fithian told CNN. “He was very friendly to everyone he spoke with. They lit up when they talked to him.”

Families of Christ the King: We would like to inform you of an accident that took place outside our school this morning….

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Christ The King Catholic School Kansas City Kansas‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٨ فبراير ٢٠٢٠

Families of CTK: We would like to give you an update on our crossing guard, Mr. Nill. Our hearts are heavy as we inform…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Christ The King Catholic School Kansas City Kansas‎‏ في الثلاثاء، ١٨ فبراير ٢٠٢٠

On Feb. 19, one day after losing their treasured crossing guard, Christ the King Catholic School took measures to safeguard the mental health and emotional well-being of their students by inviting a therapy dog to class.

“Meet Jessy the Comfort Dog,” the school posted on Facebook; “she came to our school today to help ease our anxieties in regards to the accident and passing of our brave crossing guard.”

Meet Jessy The Comfort Dog… she came to our school today to help ease our anxieties in regards to the accident and…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎Christ The King Catholic School Kansas City Kansas‎‏ في الأربعاء، ١٩ فبراير ٢٠٢٠

The school also released a formal statement to share news of Nill’s passing with their community. “Our hearts are heavy as we inform you of [Nill]’s passing,” the school wrote on Facebook.

“Please continue to keep Mr. Nill and his family in your prayers as well as the students, parents, and teachers who witnessed today’s accident,” they continued. “Also know that Mr. Nill is a hero.”

Numerous parents and affiliates shared the same sentiment as the school, leaving social media comments of their own, praising Nill as a hero and lamenting the community’s loss.

Epoch Times Photo
(Illustration – StacieStauffSmith Photos/Shutterstock)

“Thankful for Mr. Nill’s great protection of the students,” wrote one person.

“[The students] often talked to him because he helped out if those kiddos were crossing alone,” wrote another. “He just wanted to be good and it’s heartbreaking that this had to happen.”

Another moving tribute came from a forensic artist at the Philadelphia Police Department known for portraits of fallen first-responders: Jonny Castro. Castro painted Nill’s portrait the day after the crossing guard’s passing, reports KMBC, naming the striking portrait “The Hero in the Crosswalk.”

Castro posted Nill’s portrait on social media, where it immediately went viral.

"THE HERO IN THE CROSSWALK:" An artist known for portraits of fallen first-responders and other heroes painted one in…

تم النشر بواسطة ‏‎KMBC 9‎‏ في الخميس، ٢٠ فبراير ٢٠٢٠

According to Fox 4, Nill, who was born in 1931, formerly served in the U.S. Coast Guard and later embarked upon a career in banking. Nill’s nephew, Randy, shared the reason he believed his uncle became a crossing guard after retiring. “I think he felt like he could help children and help himself feel good about what he was doing,” he said.

“He cared about how people would grow up and take responsibility for themselves and do things the right way,” one of Nill’s three sons, Bart, told The Washington Post. “I think these kids picked that up. We all did.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Illustration – Johnny Adolphson/Shutterstock)

Police spokesman Jonathon Westbrook told The Post that the official cause of the fatal car accident had not been determined, but that officers suspected distracted driving as opposed to intoxication.

Nill’s sacrifice was publicly acknowledged by Kansas City Mayor David Alvey. “Mr. Nill’s act of selfless devotion to the children under his care inspires all of us,” Alvey told CBS News. “We are grateful for the goodness that he has given to our community for so many years.”