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GRANITE QUARRY — A traffic accident that killed an 81-year-old Rockwell women will not result in criminal charges, authorities said today.
Helen Talbert of Ashley Drive in Rockwell was a passenger in a car driven by her husband, Hoyle “Shotgun” Talbert, 84, Wednesday night when the Talberts’ vehicle struck the trailer of a big rig pulling onto U.S. 52 near O.C. Pine Drive.
The Talberts were flown to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where Helen Talbert died from her injuries. Hoyle Talbert was listed in critical condition Wednesday night, authorities said. His condition today was not available.
Because the crash involved a fatality, Sgt. Wayne Trivett of the Granite Quarry-Faith Joint Police Authority met with the Rowan County District Attorney’s office today to review the case, Chief Mark Cook said.
“Assistant District Attorney Tim Gould reviewed the case and advised there was no evidence to support charges in the matter, as there were no traffic violations,” Cook said.
Just before 11 p.m. Wednesday, driver Glover Polk, 63, pulled his tractor-trailer from a gravel rest area on the shoulder of U.S. 52, where it had been parked for several hours, onto the highway, Polk told the Post today.
Although the gravel rest area is normally used by trucks traveling south on 52, Polk was headed north and drove across the lane of oncoming traffic to get into the northbound lane. Cook said the move was not illegal.
Because of the curve in 52 near Granite Knitwear, Polk said he wasn’t sure how quickly oncoming traffic was traveling. He said he had left his big rig hauling bricks parked alongside the highway while he drove his pickup truck, parked nearby, to his home in Salisbury, then returned to drive the tractor-trailer to Pennsylvania.
Polk said he has used the gravel rest area several times.
“When you pull off, you better be getting it, because you don’t know what’s coming,” he said.
As Polk pulled the semi onto U.S. 52, the Talberts’ Mitsubishi struck the left rear wheels of the trailer, breaking the tire and wheel.
It appeared Hoyle Talbert, who did not apply his brakes, did not see the tractor-trailer, Cook said. Although the cab and most of the trailer had completed the turn into the northbound lane of 52, the end of the trailer was still in the southbound lane when it was struck, he said.
The speed limit on the highway is 45 mph, and neither speed nor alcohol appear to be factors in the crash, Cook said. The N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles also was called to assist with inspecting the tractor-trailer and found no safety violations with the vehicle, he said.
Wreckers were on the scene this morning to repair the tire and wheel on the trailer and haul it away. Kluttz Garage and Wrecker Service and Eller Truck Repair employees worked on the truck.
Polk drives for Earnhardt & Son Inc., based in Spartanburg, S.C. The truck belongs to the company.

GRANITE QUARRY — Helen Ray Talbert has been identified as the woman who was killed last night in an accident involving a tractor-trailer last night in Granite Quarry.
Her husband, “Shotgun” Talbert, was critically injured and taken to a hospital outside Rowan County — it is not yet clear which one.
Wreckers are on the scene this morning trying to repair the trailer enough to move it from the scene. The accident happened at U.S. 52 and O.C. Pine Drive, near Granite Knitwear.
More details as they become available.

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