Just when you think you’ve read the worst disaster of the Joplin, Missouri tornado, you hear another story that may equal it. Will Norton had just received his graduation diploma at the now demolished Joplin High School. He was in a Hummer with his father, with Will driving. Other family members including his sister Sara left in another car about 5 minutes before Will and Mark Norton. Will is missing after being sucked through the vehicle’s closed sunroof, but there is the possibility of some good news. The family has an unconfirmed report that Will was admitted Freeman hospital in Joplin, then transferred somewhere. There has been no news of him since. So hope is alive. See important update below.
Will is 6′ 4″ with slender build. He has brown hair, blue eyes and slight freckles on his face and arms. If you have information on Will Norton, email firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook, search Help Find Will Norton (Facebook.com/helpfindwillnorton) or call 757-751-will (9495).
Mr. Norton had Sara on the phone as the huge vehicle was hit by the multi-vortex F-5 tornado.
“He was telling my brother, ‘Pull over, pull over,’ ” Sara said. “I heard the tornado whipping them around. I had a feeling they were flipping around in the air. It was just really scary.”…
Mark Norton was severely injured and had to be cut out of the car. He has head injuries and broken bones, and was unconscious for while.
Hospitals in surrounding cities and states are innundated with phone calls about the 1500 still missing. The family believes Will could be in Kansas City or Wichita. If you know anything about Will Norton, use the contact information under his photo above.
UPDATE: 5-29-11: Yesterday it was reported that the body of Will Norton was found in a pond. After the frantic search for him, and the false report that Will had been admitted to a hospital alive and then was transferred to some unknown hospital, Will’s aunt says they now know that he did not suffer: “Knowing that he was gone right away was really a blessing for us.”
I have a commenter on this article taking issue with me about Will and what happened. Other than what is reported, I don’t know the truth, so I’ll quote from today’s article in New York Daily News:
Norton’s seatbelt snapped as the Hummer H3 he was driving flipped. His father struggled to hold on to him, but he was sucked out of the SUV’s sunroof, according to family members.
Mark Norton was injured and later relayed the details at the hospital.
Will Norton’s body was not found sooner because there was so much debris in the pond.