Here is a brief excerpt from an email sent to Observer employees Tuesday:
David Poole, the Observer's racing writer, was at home today after covering the Talladega race. He had a heart attack. His daughter called 911. They rushed David to the hospital in Gastonia, but there was nothing they could do.
This is an extraordinary loss of a good man and a great expert in our journalism world. If any of you were following David's Facebook posts, you could see his enthusiasm for two things in his life: his family and his knowledge of racing. He could not wait to get home from covering races to see his wife, children and grandchildren.
David, who turned 50 in March, grew up in Gastonia and attended Hunter Huss High School there and excelled as one of its top students. He graduated from journalism school at UNC Chapel Hill in 1981. He started work at the Virginian Pilot right out of school as a copy editor in
1981, but only stayed there two months. He got a call from his hometown paper, The Gastonia Gazette, to come and be one of the youngest city editors the newspaper had ever employed. He worked alongside Gary Schwab, then the sports editor in Gastonia. When Gary left to move to Charlotte, David became the sports editor at the Gazette. David had always wanted to work for a bigger paper. He left the Gazette in 1989 for nine months at the Palm Beach Post in Florida as a news copy editor. Then Gary Schwab called him and told him of a copy editor opening in our sports department. That was in 1990. David wanted to be closer to his mom and dad. All of his life, he had wanted to look after them.
David Poole was well-known for his work covering NASCAR. More here. Several readers sent word to me today. Condolences to his colleagues and loved ones.