Safety Concerns at San Francisco Park Where Mother Was Fatally Run Over

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Park visitors are raising concerns about safety at San Francisco's Holly Park nearly a year after a mother was run over and killed by a park and recreation worker. Jean Elle reports.

    Park visitors are raising concerns about safety at San Francisco's Holly Park nearly a year after a mother was run over and killed by a park and recreation worker.

    Numbers from the city show a safety device approved for installation in park and recreation vehicles has not been completed in a majority of the department's fleet.

    "It's hard to recreate when you're looking around wondering if there is a truck that's going to roll over your family," said Roger Solin, who doesn't feel safe at Holly Park.

    The park was the scene of where Christy Svanemyr was fatally run over by park and recreation worker Tom Burnoski. Svanemyr was laying in the grass with her baby when Burnoski ran her over.

    "I don't think it makes sense to have large trucks in the park unless properly staffed with two or more people," Solin said.

    Solin on Saturday took pictures of a worker driving on the path at Holly Park and sent them along with a letter to city officials. He asked city authorities in his letter why the truck did not have a forward-moving aural signal and why the driver did not walk the route to warn visitors he was driving through.

    Park and recreation authorities reviewed GPS records of the incident and said the driver followed the new safety rules adopted in November after Svanemyr was killed. Park officials also said the worker was driving on the path and under 5 miles per hour.

    The department, however, admitted the driver did not use a forward-moving beeper. But that's because it still has yet to be installed on the truck.

    Park and recreation said it started installing the forward-moving warning signals in its fleet at the beginning of the year. The device has been installed in 178 of the department's 600 vehicles.

    Meanwhile, Solin is worried the department's response and current policies are not protecting people or pets at the popular park.

    "My biggest fear is another disaster will occur," he said.

    San Francisco is considering a $15 million settlement with the Svanemyr family. Burnoski is expected to go to trial on vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run charges.