ESPN’s ‘The Hero of Goodall Park’ examines incident at Maine park that revealed 5-decade old crime

An ESPN special is focusing on the night a driver crashed through the gate at Goodall Park in Sanford and killed a 68-year-old man there to watch a baseball game.Video of the incident shows players and spectators shrieking and running in fear. A car drives erratically on the field, setting into motion the beginning and end to a story 50 years in the making.”It’s very much a Maine story. The whole story was a tapestry that really interwove the lives of so many people, and Goodall Park was where it all happened,” senior ESPN writer Tom Junod said.Junod has worked on “The Hero of Goodall Park” for two years.The network is airing an E-60 special Tuesday at 7 p.m. about what happened that June evening in 2018.Douglas Parkhurst was killed trying to protect children on the field. He was initially celebrated as a hero, but what wasn’t known at the time was that 50 years ago, Parkhurst hit and killed a 4-year-old girl in a hit-and-run in upstate New York.He only confessed after the statute of limitations had run out.”The great sin is the 50 years of Doug Parkhurst keeping this silent. That is the most destructive element in this whole story,” Junod said.Junod has told a number of incredible stories. The movie “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” was based on his article interviewing Mr. Rogers.But he said “The Hero of Goodall Park” was unlike anything he had done before.”I mean it is a story about humanity, but the fact is that everyone I talked to was really, um, moved by it because it was so local, because it happened at a place that they loved and that meant so much to them,” Junod said.It is a story with many layers. Junod connected the Parkhurst family with Darlene Ashby, the sister of the little girl who was hit and killed by Parkhurts decades ago.”I think that Darlene called it the completion of a circle,” Junod said. “She had been waiting for an apology for 50 years, and here came one from the grandson of the man who took away her sister,” Junod said.The driver of the car that hit and killed Parkhurst at Goodall Park, Carol Sharrow, was found to be in a manic state and was sent indefinitely to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.The ESPN piece features the first interview with her.”It forces you to reckon with. It forces you to contemplate the questions of karma, the questions of the circle of life, the question of whether one moment of heroism is enough to counterbalance 50 years of causing pain,” Junod said.

An ESPN special is focusing on the night a driver crashed through the gate at Goodall Park in Sanford and killed a 68-year-old man there to watch a baseball game.

Video of the incident shows players and spectators shrieking and running in fear.

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A car drives erratically on the field, setting into motion the beginning and end to a story 50 years in the making.

“It’s very much a Maine story. The whole story was a tapestry that really interwove the lives of so many people, and Goodall Park was where it all happened,” senior ESPN writer Tom Junod said.

Junod has worked on “The Hero of Goodall Park” for two years.

The network is airing an E-60 special Tuesday at 7 p.m. about what happened that June evening in 2018.

Douglas Parkhurst was killed trying to protect children on the field. He was initially celebrated as a hero, but what wasn’t known at the time was that 50 years ago, Parkhurst hit and killed a 4-year-old girl in a hit-and-run in upstate New York.

He only confessed after the statute of limitations had run out.

“The great sin is the 50 years of Doug Parkhurst keeping this silent. That is the most destructive element in this whole story,” Junod said.

Junod has told a number of incredible stories. The movie “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” was based on his article interviewing Mr. Rogers.

But he said “The Hero of Goodall Park” was unlike anything he had done before.

“I mean it is a story about humanity, but the fact is that everyone I talked to was really, um, moved by it because it was so local, because it happened at a place that they loved and that meant so much to them,” Junod said.

It is a story with many layers. Junod connected the Parkhurst family with Darlene Ashby, the sister of the little girl who was hit and killed by Parkhurts decades ago.

“I think that Darlene called it the completion of a circle,” Junod said. “She had been waiting for an apology for 50 years, and here came one from the grandson of the man who took away her sister,” Junod said.

The driver of the car that hit and killed Parkhurst at Goodall Park, Carol Sharrow, was found to be in a manic state and was sent indefinitely to Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta.

The ESPN piece features the first interview with her.

“It forces you to reckon with. It forces you to contemplate the questions of karma, the questions of the circle of life, the question of whether one moment of heroism is enough to counterbalance 50 years of causing pain,” Junod said.