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Woman Killed by SF Recreation and Parks Employee

A 35-year-old woman was killed when a San Francisco city employee ran her over with a truck. Christine Svanemyr of Daly City was lying with her baby and dog at Holly Park in the Bernal Heights neighborhood when she was struck by the employee. The woman died at a nearby hospital. Her infant daughter was not injured and is now with her father.

Christine Svanemyr, an ordained Zen monk, was a faculty member of New Ventures West, a firm which offers professional coaching. A spokesperson for her employer issued a statement, which says in part, “Christy was full of brilliance, passion and kindness. Her high energy and infectious enthusiasm impacted everything and everyone she touched.”

The driver, Thomas Burnoski, 57, left the park in his pickup but was detained by police for questioning. The driver has worked for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department since 2006. The accident comes at no surprise to park frequenters. Several neighbors previously complained about his reckless driving at the park. The park has a pathway for driving, and visitors to the park noted that there was no need to drive on the grass. San Francisco Police have since arrested Burnoski on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run.

San Francisco Recreation and Park general manager Phil Ginsberg stated that his department is fully cooperating with the San Francisco Police Department’s investigation of the incident. He also issued 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.”

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