Crossing guard killed at Lafayette school lauded as hero

Extra patrols and support staff were at Stanley Middle School in Lafayette on Thursday morning after one of the school crossing guards died after being hit by an SUV.

A small memorial was created in memory for 44-year-old Ashley Dias of San Francisco. 

Flowers and a sign that reads "Thank You for Keeping us Safe," also were placed by the site at the edge of the sidewalk. Dias was killed on his second day of work at the school, according to Superintendent Richard Whitmore, who helped out with crossing guard duties. 

"From what I understand from the community, he died a hero," said Dias' mother Gloria Dias. "There was a car speeding, and he pushed the kids out of the way. But the car sped and went over him and dragged him."

As students walked and bicycled to school on Thursday, many pulled flowers out of their backpacks to add to the memorial. Others put signs up for "Mr. Dias," crediting his work and heroism. 

A child was also struck Wednesday afternoon but those injuries were considered minor, authorities said. 

Just before 3 p.m., Lafayette police responded to a report of a vehicle versus pedestrian collision at the school. The person turned out to be Dias who was trapped under a GMC Suburban Police and citizens were able to pull him out from under the vehicle, and administer CPR. Dias was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he died. 

The father of a girl who was pushed out of the way happens to be a doctor at the hospital.

"He came to see me, and he says, ‘I know your son is dead, but thanks to him, my daughter is alive,’ " Gloria Dias said. "It makes me feel very proud, but that doesn't bring my son back."

Ashley Dias worked as a clinical research associate. He was a "foodie" who enjoyed planning family vacations "to the last detail," his mother said.

 Police said the driver of the Suburban has been interviewed and cooperative and is not being identified at this time. 

MORE: Crossing guard killed, student injured in auto accident outside Stanley Middle School in Lafayette

Whitmore wrote in a statement that many students were at the scene of the accident. 

"We are extraordinarily saddened to learn of the loss of a member of our school community, and our thoughts are with his family and friends," Whitmore wrote. "We also regret the terrible impact of this accident on the student directly involved, the family members, and the additional students who witnessed the accident."

Extra counseling support were on hand for the students on Thursday. 

Lafayette police are in charge of the investigation of the crash. Police had roadways in the area closed for several hours.

 Anyone with information should contact Sgt. C. Jacquez of the Lafayette Police Department at (925) 299-3234 or


A small memorial was created for a school crossing guard killed Sept. 8, 2021 at a Lafayette middle school. 


A small memorial was created for a school crossing guard killed Sept. 8, 2021 at a Lafayette middle school.