Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Young Man Headed to Local University Sucked out of Sunroof During Joplin Tornado

Will Norton (via Facebook)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

18-year-old Will Norton was on his way home after his high school graduation when the tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, and now the young man, poised to attend the OC's Chapman University in the fall is missing. Norton, according to a CNN iReport, was yanked out of his vehicle through the sunroof, by the force of the storm.The iReport explains:

Will's father attempted to grab onto Will as the windshield and sunroof glass blew out of the Hummer H3 that Will was driving. Will was sucked out of the vehicle as it was picked up and demolished

.Norton's friends and family are getting conflicting reports about his whereabouts, and have, according to the Facebook page they've set up, exhausted all options in contacting hospitals.

On Twitter, Norton's @Wildabeast account's last message was May 22, before the storm: "I'm graduating today!" In March, Norton was in Los Angeles and Orange County, visiting Chapman. After hitting In-N-Out burger, Norton flew home to Joplin. He Tweeted: "Gooooodbye LA! I'll see you in August."

Support for LAist comes from

The Joplin tornado has proven to be the deadliest in the nation since 1953. The death toll has climbed to 117, according to the Los Angeles Times, after several people were rescued from rubble.