The San Francisco parks worker suspected of running over and killing a woman while she sat in the grass with her baby and dog will face manslaughter charges, the city’s district attorney’s office announced Tuesday.
Thomas Burnoski, 58, was free on bail after his initial arrest, and turned himself in on Tuesday. He will be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.
The DA plans to charge Burnoski with felony counts of manslaughter and hit-and-run related to the Sept 5. death of 35-year-old Christine Svanemyr, of Daly City, at Holly Park in the city’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. A memorial was set up at the park, and the news rattled some park goers.
"Poor little baby doesn't have a mom anymore," said Marsha Otto, who does not know Svanemyr personally.
Burnoski‘s attorney said last month his client was driving on an asphalt path typically used by city parks workers, then strayed off the path and into the grass where Svanemyr was lying.
Burnoski allegedly drove away from the scene in his green Recreation and Park truck but was located by officers a short time later and was taken into custody.
Burnoski’s bail was set at $350,000, according to the San Francisco Sheriff's Department.
Svanemyr, an ordained Zen monk, suffered major head and chest injuries and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she died. Her infant daughter was not injured, police said.
Burnoski worked for San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department since 2006, and has a clean criminal record aside from a 2012 citation for talking on a cell phone while driving, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.