The widower of a woman who was run over by a San Francisco city worker while she was sunbathing told KTVU Tuesday that he was having a difficult time without her.
Days before a planned vigil for Christy Svanemyr at San Francisco’s Holly Park, where the 35 year old mother was struck and killed by a city gardener back in early September, her husband Vegar Svanemyr told KTVU off camera that he was struggling to cope with her loss.
Though he says he's grateful for the support of friends and strangers, Vegar said he’s been having a difficult time raising their 11 month old daughter.
Svanemyr was sunbathing at the park with her daughter and dog Ponyo nearby on the afternoon of Sept. 5 when Thomas Burnowski, a 57-year-old gardener with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, ran over her with a department-owned pickup truck.
Sabrina Chaw, a family friend of Svanemyr told KTVU Tuesday that Christy lived in the Twin Peaks neighborhood and went to Holly Park to meet with friends
“She was texting Vegar her husband a picture of Isape playing in the grass. She had texted that photo shortly before the incident happened,” said Chaw. “I still feel anger that...that happened,” said Chaw. Burnowski drove off after hitting Svanemyr before he was arrested minutes later and was facing felony hit-and-run charges in the days immediately following the crash.
But as of Tuesday, no charges had been filed against Burnowski as the case was still under investigation and he was still out on bail, though he had been suspended from his work without pay.
“[He’s] terribly depressed; I talked to him today. He's got kids to raise and his life is in limbo. This has taken a heavy toll,” said Bob Waggener, Burnowski's attorney.
The incident appeared to have also taken a toll on people who live near Holly Park.
“I have not brought my daughter here to play,” said Tonya Ackerman, a neighbor.
Neighbors were planning to gather at Holly Park for a vigil Thursday at 5 p.m. to honor Svanemyr and call on city leaders to make the park safer.
“We're really upset about this and we would like to know what they plan to do to prevent this moving forward,” said Jessica Rucker, a friend of Christy's who lives near Holly Park.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.