Vigil held for woman run over by city truck

October 3, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A vigil was held Thursday in San Francisco to honor Christy Svanemyr who was killed last month as she was sitting with her baby in Holly Park in Bernal Heights when a city truck ran over her.

Not only is the community mourning the loss of the young woman, it is also mourning the loss of feeling safe in their neighborhood park.

Saturday marks a sad anniversary for Svanemyr's family and friends -- one month since the 35-year-old was killed. She was sunbathing with her baby when a Recreation and Park worker drove onto the grass and hit her.

Neighbors say they often see reckless behavior. "It's just unfortunate it happened here and happened to Christy, but something was bound to happen," Bernal Heights resident Tonya Ackerman told ABC7 News.

San Francisco's Recreation and Park Department has a policy calling for workers to use spotters when they veer off the paved pathways. Supervisor David Campos, who represents Bernal Heights, has called for a hearing. "Are those rules clear? Do those rules make sense? Are those rules enforced properly?" he wants to know.

The Recreation and Park worker, 57-year-old Tom Burnoski is on unpaid leave and out on bail. District Attorney George Gascon says charges will be filed, but his office is waiting for more evidence to decide if it's a felony or misdemeanor case.

"The decision will be whether we have a case where we have gross negligence, in other words, there was this wanton disregard for the safety of others, or whether it was ordinary negligence," Gascon said.

Burnoski's lawyer, Bob Waggener, says he's disappointed to hear his client will face charges because what happened was an accident. "He's seeking counseling and trying to deal with a very emotionally-disturbing situation where he's responsible for the death of a young woman," he said.

The victim's friends are demanding increased safety measures.

Load Comments