An 88 year-old school crossing guard was hailed a hero after he died while pushing two children out of a car’s path.
Bob Nill was struck and killed while patrolling outside Christ the King Catholic School in Kansas City, Kansas, on Tuesday morning.
He held back two young boys who were about to cross back on seeing a black sedan speeding towards them.
Its driver failed to see Nill’s red warning sign and the school’s flashing yellow lights, and drove into Nill, killing him.
The two youngsters who Nill saved ran sobbing into school principal Cathy Fithian’s office, with Fithian rushing outside to discover the crossing guard’s body in the middle of the road.
She found his stop sign 20 feet away from Nill’s corpse.
Fithian told The Washington Post: ‘I know he had it in his hand.
‘It was right in the center of the road.’
Nill’s needless death has plunged the local community into mourning, with Kansas City Mayor David Alvey thanked him ‘on behalf of our residents for his selfless sacrifice in protecting our children.’
Christ the King also issued a statement to parents asking them ‘to know what Mr Nill is a hero.’
The driver who struck and killed Nill stopped at the scene.
They are not believed to have been intoxicated, with police spokesman Jonathon Westbrook saying distracted driving was the most likely cause of the collision.
The driver has yet to be named or formally charged.
Westbrook refused to say whether the driver was speeding, with witnesses claiming their car was traveling well above the 20mph speed limit.
Former sports coach Nill’s son Bart said his dad had gone to work as a crossing guard after retiring and losing his wife in quick succession, leaving him feeling lonely.
Bart added: ‘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.’