Fiery crash topples over World War I memorial in Prospect Park
A 57-year-old World War I memorial was damaged in a fiery car crash over the weekend in Prospect Park.
City parks crews cleared rubble Monday after a car careened off the roadway early Sunday and slammed into the memorial on Bartel-Pritchard Square.
Citizen App video captured the moment when smoke billowed out of the vehicle after it burst into flames.
"It's a real shame. This has been up here for many, many years and it's in honor of the veterans from the neighborhood," said Mickey McNally, of Windsor Terrace.
The square is named after two Brooklyn residents from the neighborhood, Emil Bartel and William Pritchard, who made the ultimate sacrifice in combat during World War I.
Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher served in the armed forces as well. The memorial has stood in the park since 1965 and he said, with some repairs, will be there for many more years to come.
"It's a monument for valor and sacrifice for people who put their lives on their lives on the line. So, I think it's very important that we get it corrected," Maher said.
Parks officials said the monument weighs several tons. But the force of the impact toppled over the memorial which once stood vertically before the wreck.
"We want to make sure we get the site cleaned up. There is a parade coming up on March 20. We'll certainly have it done by then and probably before," Maher said.
Police said one woman was taken to the hospital after the crash and is currently in stable condition. No charges have been filed.
Parks officials said if the weather permits, all the debris should be cleaned up by the end of the week.