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SF city gardener charged in fatal hit and run is fired from city park department

A San Francisco city gardener who was charged with vehicular manslaughter and felony hit and run after fatally driving over a woman relaxing at a park has been fired from his job.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports (http://bit.ly/1cwuP4l) the 58-year-old Thomas Burnoski, who was an employee at the Recreation and Park Department for seven years, received a notice of termination Thursday. A park department spokeswoman confirmed the termination.

Burnoski is charged with running over 35-year-old Christine Svanemyr on Sept. 5 as she relaxed in the grass with her dog and her baby at Holly Park.

Burnoski says he veered onto the lawn from a paved pedestrian path to avoid an unleashed dog. After hitting the woman, he drove to a work meeting.

His lawyer, Robert Waggener, says he didn't realize he had hit a person and that the case was a tragic accident.

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