Flowers marking the ball field incident that took place at Goodall Park in Sanford on Friday adorn a gate at the ball park. (Tammy Wells/Journal Tribune)

SANFORD — Shawn Young, his wife and their 5-year-old son were standing in a spot tucked away near the third base bullpen Friday night when a sedan came roaring around the alleyway — a walking path really, said Young — at Goodall Park.

The maroon Honda had volleyed through the main gate and was on its way to the field, where the Curley Insurance team was playing their VFW rivals in the 13- to 15-year-old Babe Ruth league.

The driver stopped, and the woman in the driver’s seat told Shawn to open the gate to the field. He said no, and so did his wife.

The driver said the same words again, this time using a profanity. “Open the $%^ gate,” Young said she demanded.

Young picked up his son and placed him on the safety of a retaining wall.

“She plowed through the fence and onto the field,” Young said.


He’s thankful that she paused briefly to demand the gate be opened, because it gave his family a chance to get out of the way. Young knows that had she not stopped, the outcome could have been even more devastating.

After the driver careened around the field, she made for the exit. As she plowed through the gate, the car hit Douglas Parkhurst, 68, who was at the ballpark that day to watch his grandson play with the Babe Ruth team. The driver sped away. Parkhurst died on the way to the hospital.

Police found Carol Sharrow, 51, at her home, where she was taken into custody and charged with manslaughter. A judge on Monday ordered Sharrow held on $500,000 cash bail and mandated that she undergo a mental health exam.

The incident that took place Friday night is still fresh and painful for everyone who was there. Not only did it traumatize young people, it has had an impact on adults who were there too, particularly as they look back and wonder what more, if anything, they could have done.

It is not what is supposed to happen on a ball field in a small city in Maine.

“We’re baseball guys,” Young said. “Baseball is your get away from work and everything else. And then you have that happen.”


He said his 5-year-old still thinks about what happened every day.

“The kids, last thing you want them to do is think about something like that on the ballfield or watching the game,” Young said.

Tim Curley is a team sponsor and a coach and  was on the field that night. He was one of those yelling for the team members to get off the field. “I was standing on top of the third base dugout steps,” Curley said. “I looked up and saw a car come out of nowhere through the gate. I heard (the driver) talking. I heard mumbling, but I was 30 feet away.”

“She crashed through the gate, and I jumped off the steps and yelled to the kids ‘get off the field, get off the field now,”” Curley recalled. “I was still on the field yelling after she did a couple of circles, (then) she comes back the way she came in. I jogged back to the gate and got behind a big concrete light pole so I wouldn’t get hit while she came back through.”

He said the umpire, Clint Howard, was waving his arms, trying to draw the driver’s attention away from the players trying to get off the field, and onto him, instead.

“For a for a split second, she was 10 feet from me,” Curley said. “ She looked my way and I said ‘Oh my God, that’s Carol.’”


Curley said Sharrow was an acquaintance. A dozen years ago, she had worked for about a year as a caretaker to his grandmother.

“I’d visit my grandmother once or twice a week,” Curley said. “(Sharrow) seemed pleasant. I know my grandmother liked her too. A couple of times her daughter was with her. She seemed like a good mom.”

In recent years, Curley said he’d run into Sharrow where she worked at various retail stores,  like Marshall’s, Lowe’s, or the Planet Fitness gym. A couple of months ago, he saw her at Lowe’s,  and the two said hello. “She was always pleasant,” he said.

It’s hard to reconcile that woman with the events on June 1 that are still so vivid.

As the driver came around to exit the field, Curley said he heard a crash and someone said, “Oh my God, she hit somebody.” Curley said he is grateful to Sanford’s police and fire departments who responded so quickly and got what he described as a chaotic situation under control.

“They calmed the situation in a matter of minutes,” he said.


Curley, like others, said he still thinks about what happened, and wonders if more could have been done.

After the incident, those involved in the schools, in baseball and in the wider community moved quickly to work on what they could do to erase the fears of the children who saw part or all of what happened at the ballpark.

“They saw more than they should see on a baseball field,” said Young.

On Monday, the Sanford School Department had counselors available for children who needed support, and parents were made aware that they could call their child’s school and let administration and teachers know if special support was needed.

A Little League event to welcome players set for Tuesday night at the fields at Benton Playground was postponed due to rain.

Today, the Sanford Mainers are welcoming the Babe Ruth League and Little League to their home opener — players just have to wear their jersey to get in free for the 6:30 p.m. game.


On Friday, the Babe Ruth teams return to Goodall Park to play for the first time since the incident. While plans are still being crafted, those in charge want it to be a happy, warm, welcoming evening of baseball for everyone. There will be pizza and water for the teams and a big welcome for the 5:30 and 8 p.m. games, said Babe Ruth League Communications Director Fred Berren.

“We’ll be welcoming the players with open arms,” Berren said. “Obviously, it was a very horrific, traumatic event. It did happen, but we don’t want to focus on the negative.”

“The whole community has come together,” Curley said.

Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected].

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