UPDATE: Innocent driver injured in Summerdale chase/crash identified

Baldwin County

UPDATE (12:21 p.m.) — Thomas Norton, the man accused of leading Summerdale Police on a chase that ended in a crash on Wednesday, was wanted on burglary and rape warrants.

The burglary warrant was out of Flora, Mississippi. The rape warrant was out of Amite County, Mississippi.

BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Summerdale Police on Thursday released new details on the police chase that ended in a crash on Wednesday.

The innocent driver who was injured in the crash was identified as Pearley Mae Mason.

The suspect who allegedly was fleeing officers was identified as Thomas Reese Norton of Flora, Mississippi.

According to Summerdale PD, an officer asked Norton to get out of his car during a traffic stop after learning he had active felony warrants. Instead, police say Norton hit the gas.

At one point, police say Norton tried to ram a patrol car on Shoots Lane.

Mason was injured when Norton sped through the intersection of County Roads 24 and 55, slamming into Mason’s SUV, police said.

Thomas Reese Norton

The following is a news release from Summerdale PD:

On January 22, 2020 at approximately 1537 hours, a patrol officer from the Summerdale Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a white Dodge Ram 3500 pickup for an expired tag. The stop took place in an RV storage parking lot. The driver was Thomas Reese Norton from Flora, MS. During the traffic stop, the officer was informed by dispatch that Norton had active felony warrants. When the officer asked Norton to step out of the vehicle, Norton put the vehicle in drive and accelerated through a chain link fence and onto 59S. Officers followed Norton as he turned west onto CR24 (Underwood Rd). Norton then turned northbound onto Shoots Ln where he attempted to ram a Summerdale Police vehicle. Norton again turned onto CR24 heading west. Barely avoiding several head on collisions with on-coming traffic, Norton approached the intersection of CR24 and CR55. Norton accelerated at a high rate of speed through the intersection, colliding with Pearley Mae Mason’s 2011 Honda CRV, who was passing through the intersection. Ms. Mason was ejected from her vehicle sustaining serious physical injuries. Alabama State Troopers, Foley Police, Baldwin County Sheriff’s deputies, Elberta Police, Foley Fire, Medstar and Life Flight responded to the accident. Ms. Mason was airlifted to USA Hospital, Norton and his passenger were treated and released from South Baldwin Medical Center. Norton was taken into custody by Summerdale Police and transported to Foley Jail. Norton will be transported to Baldwin County Jail later today. Alabama State Troopers are conducting the accident investigation along with charges of Assault 1st on Norton. Summerdale Police Department will be pursuing charges relating to the traffic stop and attempted assault on our police officer.

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