A group of youths playing softball Saturday had to scatter when an allegedly intoxicated 64-year-old woman drove her car through the fence of a Maspeth ball diamond, police said.
Kathleen Pizzonia — who lives less than three blocks from Reiff Playground on 60th Avenue — was traveling northbound on Fresh Pond Road at an excessive rate of speed near 59th Drive at about 3 p.m., according to police, when she collided with Reiff’s fence.
A man and his cousin were playing catch near a chain link fence along the third base line when they heard screeching, according to 20-year-old Algenis Caba.
He looked over and saw the car skid off the road and then hop the curb that runs along 59th Drive.
“Luckily there was nobody crossing the street,” Caba said. “They would’ve flew.”
Caba and his cousin turned sprinted away, diving into the grass as the car smashed into a large pole holding up the roughly 20-foot-high fence, he said.
The woman still had her foot on the gas, according to Caba, and after mowing over the downed support post, put the car in reverse and tried to back up.
“If it wasn’t for that pole, we would have been like bowling pins,” Caba said.
Police, firefighters and medics arrived shortly after. She was the only person in the vehicle.
Other eyewitnesses who were also playing softball at the time said the woman was led to an ambulance by NYPD officers.
Police confirmed that she was allegedly intoxicated and taken to Elmhurst General Hospital, at 79-01 Broadway. No one else was injured.
The softball game was put on hold as the car was removed from the field, leaving a bumper and several other pieces of the front end lying on the ground.
After the debris was shuffled to the side, the game resumed, but some of the players said they were still shaken by the incident and thought the city should install barriers along 59th Drive to prevent another incident.
“What counts is that I’m alive,” Cabas said. “But you’re not even safe playing softball.”
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community News Group
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