Man Fled Deadly Hit-and-Run—Meets Ironic Tragic Fate 50 Years Later

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
June 5, 2018USshare

NTD Photo

A maroon sedan charged across a baseball field on the night of June 1, to the screams of onlookers, including parents and children. “Get off the field!” one man yelled.

Douglas Parkhurst, 68, was watching his grandson play in a youth baseball game. He was struck by the car while trying to push children out of its way. He died on the way to hospital.

The driver, Carol Sharrow, 51, now faces manslaughter charges for the hit-and-run. It is unclear why Sharrow hit Parkhurst.

More than 200 people were in the stands and several players were on the field of Goodall Park in Sanford, Maine. No one else suffered any injuries.

One witness told WCSH-TV that Parkhurst “pushed the kids right out of the way. He took the hit for the kids.”

NTD Photo
Carol Sharrow, of Sanford, Maine, stands for her arraignment on manslaughter charges at the York County Superior Court in Alfred, Maine, Monday, June 4, 2018. Sharrow is accused of driving onto the field during a baseball game in Sanford, killing Douglas Parkhurst, a West Newfield, Maine, on Friday, June 1, 2018. Coincidentally, Parkhurst, a Vietnam War veteran, confessed five years ago to killing a 4-year-old girl in a 1968 hit-and-run. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

“We want to share our heartfelt gratitude that physically all of the players from Babe Ruth and Little League are safe,” the Sanford Maine Little League posted on Facebook June 1. “Our deep sorrow to the family of the brave man that gave his life tonight protecting others.”

But Parkhurst harbored a history—in 2013, he admitted responsibility for a 1968 hit-and-run that took a life. Carolee Ashby, then 4 years old, was killed.

Because the statute of limitations had expired at the time of the confession, he served no time.

Carolee’s sister Darlene Ashby McCann, said she has suffered from depression since her sister’s death 50 years ago.

“It feels it has made a full circle,” she told the Portland Press Herald. “Now I am relieved. I truly am. The same thing that happened to my sister happened to him. It made a complete circle. Now it is time to move on.”

It was Halloween, 1968, in Fulton, New York. It was also Darlene’s 15th birthday. Darlene was holding Carolee’s hand as they were crossing a street. She suddenly felt a tug on her arm.

“I knew immediately that Carolee was not there,” Darlene said in a deposition.

Carolee’s body, hit and thrown by a car, lay near the curb, 20 feet from her black cowboy boots and 133 feet up the road, according to an eyewitness. The driver had sped off.

Shortly after the accident, Fulton police received a tip that an 18-year-old named Douglas Parkhurst had on the same night bashed his car, a Buick Special, according to the Washington Post.

They took him in for questioning. After two hours, Parkhurst maintained he did not have anything to do with the accident. While police were skeptical about Parkhurst’s version of events, they did not follow up.

In 2012 a local woman came forward and told reporters that the Parkhursts had asked her to say she had been with them on Halloween 1968, and she refused. Upon reflection, she suspected the request was linked to Carolee’s hit-and-run.

In March 2013, Fulton police came to Parkhurst’s home and questioned him again. By now a Vietnam veteran, father and grandfather, Parkhurst denied remembering anything. According to a 2013 police report, he said, “I’m not going to say it is, and I’m not going to say it isn’t because I can’t honestly … remember.”

Parkhurst soon met with the local district attorney who said he could not be charged because of the expired statue of limitations. Fifteen days after police contacted Parkhurst, he confessed. Parkhurst wrote in a statement that he had been drinking with his brothers before driving.

“It sounded like I hit a dog. … I did not see what I hit. I did not stop. … I don’t remember seeing any kids but I believe in my heart I hit the little Ashby girl with my car. I did not see her or any other kids,” he wrote.

He added that he lied to the police about his car in 1968. “I don’t know why the police never challenged me on this. I wish they did. I would have told them the truth.”

Darlene said that her father died without knowing about the confession, and her mother died last year without ever receiving any apology from Parkhurst.

“I know my mom would have been grateful that children were saved,” Darlene told the Press-Herald. “Sometime I may be able to forgive him, but not right now.”

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