Christine Svanemyr: City Worker Accused of Killing Mother in Park Turns Himself In
Thomas Burnoski, the city worker who is accused of running over Christine Svanemyer as she lay with her infant daughter in Holly Park, turned himself in to authorities last night and will appear in court today.
According to the District Attorney's office, Burnoski, 58, has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run related to the death of 35-year-old Svanemyr at Holly Park on Sept 5. His bail is set for $350,000. He will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. today.
"This driver, certainly in my opinion, was very reckless," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon told reporters.
Svanemyr was relaxing in the grass at Holly Park with her 1-year-old daughter, Isa, and their dog at about 2:25 p.m. on Sept. 5 when a Rec and Park maintenance driver turned off the asphalt path and onto the grass, driving toward the family. After running over the young mother, he drove off as witnesses yelled at him to stop. Svanemyr was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
A few minutes after the incident, police located the driver nearby; Burnoski was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run. He was released on bail and turned himself in again last night. Burnoski, who lost his own daughter in a car accident earlier this year, has worked with the Rec and Park Department since 2006.
His attorney says that Burnoski did not realize he had hit a person. "He felt a bump. He looked back and saw a dog scampering away and he thought 'Well, maybe the dog didn't get hit,'" said his attorney Tony Tamburello.