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Friday, September 13, 2013

Christine Svanemyr: City Worker Who Killed Mother in Park Says He's "Devastated"

Posted By on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 8:10 AM

click to enlarge Christy and Isa
  • Christy and Isa

Thomas Burnoski, the city gardener who is accused of killing a mother in Holly Park in a hit-and-run accident, issued a statement yesterday afternoon, one week after the tragic incident.

Burnoski's attorney issued his statement to ABC News:

My family and I wish to express our profound sorrow to the family of Christine Svanemyr and her community of friends. My actions caused the death of this person and there is nothing I can do to bring her back. I am absolutely devastated by this tragic accident. Mere words can never convey what I and my family feel, knowing that a child will grow up without her mother, and that Mr. Svanemyr faces parenting alone, in shock, bewilderment, and immeasurable grief. Nothing we can say or do can ever adequately address the long-term sorrowful challenge that those left behind will have to face.

Christy Svanemyr, 35, was laying at the south end of Holly Park with her 11-month-old daughter, Isa, and their family dog, when a Rec and Park maintenance worker turned off the path and onto the grass, driving toward the family. He hit her and drove off as witnesses yelled at him to stop. Svanemyr was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Thomas Burnoski
  • Thomas Burnoski

Both the baby and the dog were uninjured.

A few minutes later, police tracked down Burnoski with his truck; he was arrested and is facing vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run charges. He's been released on $25,000 bail. Prosecutors told the Chron they are awaiting toxicology tests and will likely decide by the end of the month whether to file criminal charges against the 57-year-old father.

The community began a fund-raiser online, where more than $59,000 in donations have poured in as of today -- well above the $25,000 goal. The money will be used to pay for long-term costs for Svanemyr's family.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

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