The official record is that no one died in the April 14 EF-3 tornado that tore up parts of Oaklawn and southeast Wichita.
But Sherrie Hopkins would say otherwise.
Weeks after the storm, Marilyn Costlow, 76, died Saturday in what officials and friends say was a tragic accident.
“They say there were no deaths from the tornado, but this was from the tornado,” said Hopkins, clerk for the Oaklawn Improvement District.
Marilyn Costlow and her husband, Jim, were repairing fences at mobile home lots they’ve owned for years at Deer Lake Estates in Oaklawn when their truck ran over her, killing her.
Lt. Randy Cole of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said Jim Costlow was driving and pulled into a lot they owned in the 4100 block of Jonquil to work on a fence and drop off supplies. Costlow got out to walk toward the fence. Marilyn Costlow, who had been in the front seat, got out and was struck by the truck’s door and knocked down, Cole said. The truck then ran over her.
A relative of the Costlows said Jim Costlow had been out of his truck for five to 10 minutes and was several yards away when the truck rolled back and over his wife. The relative said Jim Costlow is not sure what caused his truck to roll back but thinks his wife may have bumped the gear shift lever while reaching into the truck to retrieve her sunglasses.
Mrs. Costlow was the longtime secretary and treasurer of the homeowners association at Deer Lake. She and her husband, president of the association, did not live there but rented mobile homes and lots to many families at Deer Lake, said Wanda Squib, who has served on the homeowners association’s board of directors for 15 years.
Mrs. Costlow was well-respected around Deer Lake Estates, Squib said.
“Marilyn was a very friendly, loving person,” Squib said. “She was very good-hearted.”
Sedgwick County Commissioner Jim Skelton called the accident a “terrible, terrible, terrible tragedy.”
Bob Dix, secretary of the Oaklawn Improvement District, said Mrs. Costlow was “smart, and she had a lot of experience with bookkeeping and personnel from being at Boeing.”
Mrs. Costlow was retired from Boeing after working there 35 years as a secretary.
Hopkins said Mrs. Costlow was “a very nice lady, very smart. She did all the bookwork” for the association.
A visitation is planned for noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at Resthaven Mortuary. Mrs. Costlow’s funeral service will be 10 a.m. Friday, also at Resthaven.