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.”
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