Man injured when car crashes into bleachers at Portland baseball field

Portland police investigate after a car crashed through bleachers Sunday evening in Deering Oaks. Photo courtesy of News Center Maine

A man suffered serious injuries Sunday evening when a car drove through a set of bleachers behind home plate at a ballpark in Deering Oaks in Portland, police said.

Police said the vehicle kept going after the crash, entering a nearby playground area adjacent to the Deering Oaks tennis courts. No children were hurt as a result, but some of the playground equipment was damaged.

The driver of the car, a man whose name and age were not being released Sunday night, was arrested. Police Lt. Dan Hondo said the man faces multiple charges, including operating under the influence, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, operating after suspension, and violation of bail conditions. A passenger in the car was released by police.

A man who was seated in the bleachers was injured and was taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center. His injuries were serious but not considered life-threatening, Hondo said.

It was not clear whether any children were using the playground when the car jumped the park road curb and went down an embankment toward the baseball field. Hondo said there were no reports of children being hurt by the runaway vehicle. There was a baseball game being played in Deering Oaks at the time of the crash, which was reported at 5:25 p.m.

“Scariest thing I’ve ever seen,” Michael Thibeault, an eyewitness, wrote in a Facebook post. “Stopped at Deering Oaks today to watch some live baseball. Thirty minutes later I saw a car jump the curb and come screaming into the park. Thankfully, I was able to get out of harm’s way in time.”

Thibeault wrote in his post that he could only watch as the car slammed into the bleachers and sent the man flying through the air.

“A woman came running through yelling, ‘Get out of the way, get out of the way,’” a woman from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, named Barbara told News Center Maine (WCSH-TV/WLBZ-TV). ” I heard a rumble. My first thought was, is this a tornado. Then I saw this black car come screaming through and hit the bleachers where there were two gentleman sitting. One elderly gentleman went flying through the air.”

News Center Maine said first responders had to extricate the victim from the mangled seats. A spectator told News Center Maine that several parents came to the park Sunday eveing to watch a baseball doubleheader.

Lt. Robert Martin, spokesman for the Portland Police Department, said the incident remains under investigation by the Traffic Division. Martin and Hondo said the Traffic Division is expected to release more details about the incident on Monday morning.


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