The man who was hailed a hero after saving the lives of several children he pushed out of the way of an oncoming car wildly careening across a Maine baseball field Friday, had a dark secret.
Douglas Parkhurst, 68, was killed as 51-year-old Carol Sharrow allegedly drove her sedan across the baseball field at Goodall Park in Sanford.
Parkhurst, a New York native and Vietnam veteran, pushed several youngsters out of the path of the car and shut a gate to keep the driver from getting away when he was hit.
He died while being rushed to the hospital.
In a remarkable turn of events, it was later revealed that Parkhurst confessed five years ago to killing a little girl in a hit-and-run accident decades before in Fulton, N.Y.
“It had to be the strangest twist of fate I have ever heard,” former Fulton police officer Russ Johnson said.
In 2013, after police received a tip about the case, they began to question Parkhurst about the death of 4-year-old Carolee Ashby, who was killed after she was struck by a car on Halloween night in 1968.
He eventually confessed and claimed he had been driving drunk when he heard “a thud.”
“It sounded like I hit a dog," Parkhurst wrote in his 1968 confession. "I did not see what I hit. I did not stop. I don’t remember hitting the brakes... 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."
After the hit-and-run, Parkhurst hid his car in the woods. After confessing, he led police to the location where it had been hidden for all those years.
"It was deteriorated, but it was indeed the car that hit little Carolee," Johnson said.
Parkhurst also apologized in his signed confession.
“I am oh so sorry," he said. "I can’t change anything but I hope this apology will be accepted and I beg for forgiveness."
The statute of limitations in the case had already expired so Parkhurst was not charged.
Johnson called coincidence bizarre.
"The man who admitted responsibility for killing little Carolee is now dead," Johnson said. "Essentially the same way that he killed her, he died. It's just mind-blowing."
Sharrow, the woman accused of killing Parkhurst, has been charged with manslaughter.