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88-year-old crossing guard fatally struck by vehicle as he pushed children out of the way

KANSAS CITY — An 88-year-old crossing guard died after he was struck by a vehicle Tuesday morning, Feb. 18.

It happened at about 8 a.m. near 54th Street and Leavenworth Road at Christ the King Parish School. The crossing guard was employed by Wyandotte County.

Bob Nill was struck while pushing two little boys, ages 11 and 7, out of the way of an approaching vehicle.

The initial investigation revealed that the driver of a black sedan was traveling east on Leavenworth Road, striking Nill. He was taken to a hospital, where he passed of his injuries.

The driver of the black sedan was also taken to a hospital with minor injuries.

No kids were hurt, and the driver was cooperating with investigators, police said.

“Today, two of our students were coming across Leavenworth Road and he stopped them,” said Principal Cathy Fithian. “He made them go back in so the car missed them and hit him. We want his family to know, especially his family to know, that he saved two of our students today. I’m confident they would not be here if Bob hadn’t stepped in.”

“When I saw that jacket, I knew it was him,” friend Elizabeth Germany said.

Germany was afraid to look when she heard the sirens, seeing that familiar jacket worn by the man who helped her grandchildren so many times broke her heart.

“He was very dedicated at what he did. He cared about the kids. He made sure he stood out there with that sign and made sure they were safe,” Germany said.

For the last five years, “Mr. Bob,” as the kids called him, helped countless little ones before and after school.

“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,” Mayor/CEO David Alvey said.

Police said it wasn’t immediately clear whether speeding or distracted driving factored into the crash.

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