Will Norton Joplin Tornado Missing: Teen Sucked Through Hummer SunRoof

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 Norton

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 findwillnorton@gmail.com, on Facebook, search Help Find Will Norton (Facebook.com/helpfindwillnorton) or call 757-751-will (9495).

CBS The Early Show:

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.



  • I’m sick about this. I pray for all those lost and the families. I pray that many missing be recovered alive.

  • Kim

    My heart is just breaking for this family ,I have been trying to keep up with Will’s story. I pray they find him and he is safe. Please keep the world posted on his status. Praying for all.

  • nancy

    I will continue to pray for the Norton family that Will is found alive. This whole thing is just so very very said. I am also praying for all those in Missouri and around the country who are suffering because of the recent tornadoes.

  • nancy

    I will continue to pray for the Norton family that Will is found alive. This whole thing is just so very very sad. I am also praying for all those in Missouri and around the country who are suffering because of the recent tornadoes.

  • Claudette

    This whole thing absolutely horrifying. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I hope someone will be able to find Will and bring the family back together. I hope and pray for all the tornado victims.

  • Karen

    I am praying for Will and all the others who are missing.

  • Beth

    I just saw this on the Today show and had to tell you I’m praying for Will and the family. I pray you will soon be united.

  • Curt

    This breaks my heart. I hope and pray is alive and safe in a hospital until his family finds him.

  • Annie

    I really hate to say this because it hurts but they found him, just not alive.

  • HT

    You should get you are making things worse by spreading wrong facts. This is not fair to Will’s memory and increases his family’s pain. A few of your errors: 1. The Joplin High School graduation was not held AT the high school. It was held at Missouri Southern State College. The college was not demolished, by the way. 2. He was not “sucked through a closed sun roof.” The car was being tossed around and the sunroof broke open and Will flew out of it. It’s horrific in and of itself, but he didn’t get sucked out of a closed sunroof.

    Stop making things up!!

    • HT, earlier reports did lead me to believe the graduation ceremony was held at the High School. My apologies if this is not correct, but I believe it has nothing to do with being “fair” to this lovely young man or his memory. As to the second issue you have with me, I have updated the post and I don’t know if you are correct or the the media.

      Perhaps you are consumed with grief about the loss of this young man, and so I will excuse your accusing me of “making things up.”

  • To all commenters, I have updated the post as Will’s body has been found.