A man fleeing from police in Missouri crashed into a pickup driven by Joe Nowlin, killing the 40- year-old Vinita man and injuring his son.
According to authorities, Nowlin and his 14-year-old son, Cayden, were traveling to Iowa to see his daughter perform in a play when a Missouri man wanted on aggravated assault charges crossed the center median and hit Nowlin’s truck head-on.
“There's a sense of sadness, all over the facility,” said Jesse Sutter, Warden at Northeast Correctional Center where Nowlin was employed. “It's really a shock and it's hard to get used to the fact that he's not here anymore.”
Missouri authorities say Nowlin and his son were travelling northbound on U.S. Highway 71 at approximately 4 p.m., May 27. At the same time, authorities were in pursuit of Nicholas L. Schilling, 26, of Belton, Mo.
The Missouri Highway Patrol reports says Schilling lost control of his vehicle while driving in the southbound lanes of U.S. 71, crossed into oncoming traffic and struck Nowlin’s 2008 Chevrolet Silverado head-on.
Schilling was also killed in the accident. Authorities say 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.
“Missouri State Police believe is that the person who was trying to get away from them decided to just end it and crossed over (the center median),” said Sutter.
Nowlin was the Chief of Security at the Northeast Oklahoma Correctional Center in Vinita for more than three years, according to Sutter.
Flowers mark the spot where Joe Nowlin would normally park his truck at Northeastern Oklahoma Correctional Center.
“He will be missed because everybody liked him,” said Sutter.
Authorities say Cayden Nowlin is still in critical condition and funeral arrangements for Joe 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.