Friends Remember Vinita Man Killed In KC

Friday, May 29th 2009, 4:52 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

VINITA, OK -- More is learned about a Kansas City police chase and wreck that killed an Oklahoma man.    A man fleeing from police in Missouri crashed into a pickup driven by Joe Nowlin of Vinita, killing the 40- year-old father of two.  Friends and coworkers are grieving the death of the longtime corrections officer.

05/27/2009  Related Story: Vinita Man Killed In Missouri Police Chase

Nowlin's friends say the senseless tragedy took a good man.

"There's a sense of sadness, all over the facility," said Northeast Correctional Center Warden Jesse Sutter.

At the Northeast Correctional Center, flowers mark the spot where Joe Nowlin would normally park his truck.  He was killed when another driver slammed into his pickup in Missouri.

"It's really a shock and it's hard to get used to the fact that he's not here anymore," said Warden Jesse Sutter.

Warden Sutter worked with Nowlin for several years at the prison.  Nowlin was a 16 year corrections employee and the chief of security at the facility, in charge of 63 officers.         

He's remembered as a pleasant person, who was good at his job and good to the people he worked alongside.

"He will be missed because everybody liked him," said Warden Jesse Sutter.

Nowlin and his 14-year-old son were on their way to Iowa, to see his daughter perform in a play.   A man driving 100 miles per hour crossed the median and intentionally hit Nowlin.

"That's what we believe and what Missouri State Police believe is that the person who was trying to get away from them decided to just end it and crossed over," said Warden Jesse Sutter.

The other driver, 26-year-old Nicholas Schilling, was killed in the crash.  He was fleeing police after being accused of killing his family's dog and threatening a woman.  A warrant had been issued earlier in the day for Schilling for charges including unlawful use of a weapon, and harassment.     

While his coworkers still can't believe what happened, Nowlin's 14-year-old son remains in critical condition.  Funeral arrangements for the senior Nowlin are pending while his son recovers.

Coworkers and friends are in the process of setting up a fund to help the family with expenses.