02/06/2007 1:00AM

Norman okay after car crash; 86-year-old dies


Cole Norman, who has won the past six training titles at Oaklawn Park, was involved in a head-on car collision Monday afternoon in Hot Springs, Ark. Norman escaped serious injury, but the driver of the other vehicle, an 86-year-old woman, was pronounced dead three hours after the accident, according to the Arkansas State Police.

According to Corp. Jorge Oseguera, a state trooper with the Arkansas State Police, Norman, 38, crossed the center line while driving on Highway 7 South near Long Island Drive and hit the vehicle driven by the woman, Virginia Heath. Norman was driving a Cadillac Escalade.

Oseguera said blood samples were drawn from Norman and Heath to determine whether either was driving in an impaired state. The test results are pending, and no charges have been filed, said Oseguera.

Norman was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

This is the second major accident for Norman in about a year. He broke his neck in an all-terrain vehicle accident in December 2005, and had to wear a neck brace for the duration of the Oaklawn meet in 2006.