Rec And Park Staffer Who Allegedly Struck And Killed Parkgoer Arrested For Felony Hit And Run

10:48 AM: A San Francisco Recreation and Park Department employee has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run for striking and killing a woman at a park in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood on Thursday, police said today.

Thomas Burnoski, 57, allegedly fatally struck 35-year-old Christine Svanemyr, who was lying on the grass in Holly Park with her 11-month-old child at about 2:20 p.m. when she was run over, according to police.

Svanemyr, a Daly City resident, suffered major head and chest trauma and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said. The child was not injured.

Burnoski, a San Francisco resident who was driving a green Rec and Park maintenance truck, allegedly fled the scene but was located a short time later with the vehicle and was taken into custody, according to police.

He remained in custody at the county jail this morning, police said.

Burnoski has been a Rec and Park employee since 2006, department spokeswoman Sarah Ballard said.

Rec and Park general manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement, “On behalf of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim.”

Neighbors said on Thursday that Rec and Park vehicles often drive dangerously on grassy areas of Holly Park.

Ginsburg said his department “is cooperating fully with the San Francisco Police Department as they investigate this accident.”

8:26 AM: A woman who was fatally struck by a San Francisco Recreation and Park maintenance truck at a park in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood on Thursday has been identified by the medical examiner’s office as 35-year-old Christine Svanemyr.

Svanemyr, a Daly City resident, was struck by the Rec and Park vehicle shortly after 2:20 p.m. in a grassy area on the south end of Holly Park.

She was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where she was pronounced dead, police said.

Svanemyr was in the park with her young child, who was not injured, according to police.

The pickup truck was driven by a Rec and Park employee who fled but was found with the vehicle shortly afterward and was detained, police said.

The employee’s name was not immediately being released by police. Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Ballard said the employee has been with the department since 2006.

Rec and Park general manager Phil Ginsburg said in a statement, “On behalf of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim.”

Neighbors said on Thursday that Rec and Park vehicles often drive dangerously on grassy areas of Holly Park.

Ginsburg said his department “is cooperating fully with the San Francisco Police Department as they investigate this accident.”

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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  • mikesonn

    This is so sad and unbelievably disgusting that even our parks aren’t safe from the scourge of automobiles.

  • mikesonn

    This is so sad and unbelievably disgusting that even our parks aren’t safe from the scourge of automobiles.

  • Adam S

    Yeah it’s the car’s fault. Lets not forget that assholes on bikes have run people over and killed them too.

    • Mike

      We’re pretty sure it’s the driver’s fault, not the car’s fault.

  • Adam S

    Yeah it’s the car’s fault. Lets not forget that assholes on bikes have run people over and killed them too.

  • JuiceJeasel

    Murderer.

  • JuiceJeasel

    Murderer.