Man facing murder charges following fatal car chase


SUMMERDALE, Alabama — A man who fled from police in Summerdale on Wednesday, Jan. 22, is in jail facing multiple charges, including murder, following a crash that resulted in the death of a local woman.

According to jail records, Thomas Reese Norton, 29, whose address is listed as Bay Minette, remained in jail without bond on Monday, charged with attempt to elude, reckless driving, obstructing government operations, criminal mischief, third degree, resisting arrest and murder.

Total bond amount for the charges listed is $245,000, but Norton is being held without bond as a fugitive from justice from Mississippi.

According to a release issued Thursday, Jan. 23 by the Summerdale Police Department, the chase began following a traffic stop in an RV storage parking lot off of Alabama 59 South for an expired tag on a white Dodge Ram 3500 pickup.

During the traffic stop, the officer was informed by dispatch that the driver, identified in the release as Norton from Flora, Mississippi, 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 (Alabama 59),” according to the release.

Officers followed the vehicle as it turned west onto County Road 24 (Underwood Road). The vehicle then turned northbound onto Shoots Lane where it attempted to ram a Summerdale Police vehicle.

The vehicle again turned onto County Road 24 heading west.

“Barely avoiding several head on collisions with on-coming traffic, Norton approached the intersection of (County Road) 24 and (County Road) 55.”

The vehicle then accelerated through the intersection, colliding with a 2011 Honda CRV passing through the intersection, driven by Pearly Mae Mason. According to the release, Mason was ejected from her vehicle and sustained “serious physical injuries.”

Mason was airlifted to USA Hospital, where she was later pronounced deceased. Norton and his passenger were treated and released from South Baldwin Medical Center.

Alabama State Troopers, Foley Police, Baldwin County Sheriff’s deputies, Elberta Police, Foley Fire, Medstar and Life Flight responded to the accident.

Norton was taken into custody by Summerdale Police and transported to Foley Jail. According to jail records, he was booked into the Baldwin County Corrections Facility at 5:25 p.m. Thursday.