Trainer Norman Involved in Fatal Car Accident

Trainer Cole Norman was involved in a fatal head-on car accident Feb. 5 in Arkansas that left an 86-year-old Hot Springs, Ark., woman dead.

According to a police report obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Norman was headed northbound on Arkansas Highway 7, near Hot Springs, around 2:40 p.m., when his 2007 Cadillac Escalade crossed the center line and collided with a southbound Ford Explorer driven by Virginia Heath of Hot Springs.

The Star-Telegram reported Heath was taken to a local hospital and died a few hours following the accident, while Norman refused treatment at the scene for minor injuries.

According to the police report, fluid samples, both blood and urine, were obtained from Norman and Heath. Test results to determine if either were driving impaired are expected back within 60 to 90 days.

The Star-Telegram reported Norman told the police he fell asleep while driving from Bossier City, La., where he lives with his wife and two children, to Hot Springs.

Norman won his sixth consecutive Oaklawn Park training title last year in addition to finishing 14th in the national trainers’ standings with 146 wins.

In 2007, the Norman stable has gotten off to a slow start, winning once in 24 starts.

Norman is currently facing a six-month suspension after two of his horses were found to have exceeded the permitted levels of total carbon dioxide following the $150,000 Jean Lafitte Stakes Nov. 3 at Delta Downs. Norman has appealed the decision and is awaiting a hearing.