Son of Andover Tornado victim remembers his mother 27 years later

Local

It was 27 years ago today when a massive tornado ripped through south-central Kansas. 

While it tore through several Kansas communities, it became known as the Andover tornado. That storm killed 17 people, including 13 at a mobile home park in Andover. 

John Head was living in Wichita at the time and when he heard about the tornado, he knew he had to get to his mother. So he got on the road, only to find it was too late. 

“We knew mom’s trailer park was in that path so we tried to call her on the phone,” explained John Head. 

Head lives in Arkansas now, but at the time he lived in Wichita. He and his brother rushed to get to their mom. When they got there, it was barely recognizable. 

“There were a lot of people frantic trying to find people,” said Head.

Head says his mother tried to take cover.

“They were trying to get to a safe place.”

But it was too late. 

“Her husband said that he had tried to hang on to her and the wind just basically pulled her out of his hand and I think they found her a few yards away and something hit her in the head,” said John. 

27 years later and he says his memory is a bit hazy, but it’s a day that always makes him think of his mother. 

What also makes it difficult for Head is that he says almost every picture he had with his mother was swept away with the tornado. 

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