The sister of a young girl killed in a hit-and-run 50 years ago says ‘justice is now done’ after the man responsible was fatally struck down when a woman careened onto a Maine baseball field.
Douglas Parkhurst, 68, was killed when the out-of-control driver crashed onto a field during a boys’ baseball game in Sanford on Friday night before attempting to speed away.
Parkhurst, a Vietnam war veteran, was credited with saving numerous children’s lives after he pushed them out of harm’s way while trying to get the car to stop.
But Darlene Ashby McCann cannot bring herself to label Parkhurst a hero and described his death as a strange twist of fate.
Douglas Parkhurst, the man credited with saving children’s lives when a woman drove onto a Maine baseball field on Friday, had confessed to killing four-year-old Carolee Ashby in a hit-and-run back in 1968
Parkhurst was the driver who killed McCann’s four-year-old sister Carolee Ashby in a hit-and-run in Fulton, New York back in 1968.
He finally confessed to the crime in 2013 and admitted that he had been drinking the night of the crash.
‘I’m grateful that children were saved but I can’t associate him with being a hero,’ a tearful McCann told DailyMail.com on Sunday.
Parkhurst was never charged over Carolee’s death because the statute of limitations had already passed by the time he confessed.
McCann said it was overwhelming to learn of his death so many years later.
‘It is ironic and justice is now done,’ she said.
‘It has made a complete circle. I’m relieved after all these years… We’ve been in pain for 50 years.’
McCann’s father died before learning who had killed his daughter, while her mother died last year without ever receiving a personal apology from Parkhurst.
Carolee’s older sister Darlene Ashby McCann said she could not bring herself to label Parkhurst a hero and described his death as a strange twist of fate. Carolee is pictured above with her mother in an undated photo
Shocking video taken at the scene shows people running off the field after a car drove erratically across a little league baseball field, as people are heard screaming in the stands
‘That’s all my mother ever wanted,’ McCann said.
‘He might have been young and made a stupid mistake at the time but he was a man when he was found out and he did not do the right thing and apologize.
The driver Carol Sharrow, 51, of Sanford, was arrested and charged with manslaughter over the death of Parkhurst
‘You don’t ever get over that.’
Carolee was thrown 133 feet in the air when she was struck by Parkhurst’s car as she walked along the road with her sister on Halloween night 50 years ago.
The little girl’s death remained unsolved until 2013 when police received a tip in the cold case.
Detectives questioned Parkhurst before he then walked into the police station and signed a four-page confession.
He admitted that he and his brother had been drinking the night of the crash.
‘I know in my heart and I am 99.9 percent sure I hit that little girl with my 1962 tan Buick Special. I am oh so sorry. I can’t change anything but I hope this apology will be accepted and I beg for forgiveness,’ he wrote.
Police said there was no connection between Parkhurst and the woman who struck him during the little league game on Friday night.
Parkhurst is pictured above with his niece Stacy Borrow. She said her family was always very close and her uncle had always had a ‘huge heart’
Parkhurst had been trying to close the steel gates to stop the driver, but she slammed into them – sending the veteran flying and then drove away
The driver Carol Sharrow, 51, of Sanford, was arrested and charged with manslaughter.
Witnesses said that before Sharrow entered the park she tried to drive onto the basketball court across the street but couldn’t get past big boulders lining the court.
They said Parkhurst was trying to close a gate to stop her from getting in when he was hit.
Parkhurst died on the way to the hospital.
None of the players were injured.
‘We want to share our heartfelt gratitude that physically all of our players from Babe Ruth and Little League are safe,’ the Sanford Maine Little League said in a Facebook post.
Sharrow was taken to York County Jail in Alfred where she remains. Authorities declined to say whether alcohol was involved on Friday.
Sanford police Detective Sgt. Matthew Jones said Sharrow has a drunken driving conviction in Maine and an aggravated drunk driving conviction in New Hampshire.