(LAFAYETTE, Calif.) A volunteer crossing guard at an East Bay middle school was fatally struck Wednesday after he pushed children from the path of the vehicle, saving their lives.
Ashley Dias, 45, was a clinical research associate at a biological firm, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
Just before 3 p.m., an SUV hit two people on School Street in front of Stanley Middle School. Police received reports of one person trapped under a car and when they arrived at the scene residents reportedly helped pull an "unresponsive person" from underneath the vehicle.
The other victim, a child, reportedly suffered minor injuries.
Wednesday was Dias' second day on the job, according to his family.
The driver has not been identified publicly but authorities have indicated they are cooperating.
A parent who witnessed the crash described the horrifying scene to his mother in a text message.
"He is a hero and put his life on the line to save a student,” the parent wrote to Gloria Dias. “He should definitely be remembered.”
Dias reportedly loved hiking and would frequently take his young niece to walk local trails. He was known among his family as a "foodie" who loved local restaurants and meticulously planned family trips "down to the last detail," according to his mother, Gloria.
“Just this afternoon, I spoke to him and said, ‘Ashley, I need to go on a diet, you know? Cook me some keto meals,’” said Gloria of her conversation with her son earlier Wednesday afternoon. “And he said, ‘Sure mom.’ But you know, it never happened. He was too young to die.”
Ashley Dias is survived by his parents, his two siblings and his niece. He was born in San Francisco before attending Stanley Middle School and Acalanes High School in Lafayette. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in computer science from San Francisco State University.
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