A man has surrendered to police in connection with the hit-and-run death of a grandmother who pushed her grandson to safety before she was mowed down by an SUV. Brian McGurk, 40, was charged with fleeing the scene of Thursday’s accident in New York and held on a $50,000 bond. The expectant father was wearing a hoodie and sported an overgrown goatee and while he was in court his black Ford Escape SUV was sat in his driveway with its hood badly dented from the accident which killed 57-year-old Clara Almazo.
“I thought it was two cars hitting each other — it was that loud,” said Janet Romero to the New York Post of the tragic crash that she heard while inside her home around 10:00 PM in West Brighton on Staten Island. Rushing outside, Romero said she was confronted with the heart-breaking scene of Almazo’s daughter, Berta, and Berta’s eight-year old son Brian in a flood of tears. Witnesses to the crash reported that Almazo pushed little Brian out of the way just seconds before McGurk’s SUV ran into their path outside Almazo’s home. The three family members had been returning from Holy Thursday’s Catholic mass and were just feet away from their home.
Immediately following the horrible crash, Berta laid her son down on the floor and was screaming “My mother, my mother!” said Romero. “I asked her where her mom was, and she said, ‘Over there, over there!'” Rushing 150 feet from where the SUV hit the heroic grandmother, Romero found Almazo lying motionless on the ground. “She was face up. Her leg was broken at the knee,” said a tearful Romero to the New York Post. “I recognized who she was, and I told her, ‘Wake up, wake up, please wake up!’ When I looked into her eyes, I knew she was gone.”
Rushing away from the scene, McGurk did not choose to stay and face the consequences. Upon the police arriving, Romero let them see a video of the crash that had been caught on surveillance cameras at her home. “The cops were shocked when they watched the video in my house,” said Romero. “They gasped at the impact. It was terrible.” However, some hours later McGurk turned himself in to police and there was no indication that he had been drinking. Furious family members have rounded on McGurk for his actions. “He’s a criminal. He has taken the heart out of our family,” said Emilio Herrera, Almazo’s son. “She loved all of us with her whole heart.”
The family have hired a lawyer who will now likely seek legal action against McGurk. The brother of Almazo was equally distraught at losing his sister. “He needs to pay for what he did,” said Odilon Almazo. In a past court appearance in 2009, McGurk exposed his wife’s secret life as a belly dancer during a trial in which she claimed she could not work because of injuries sustained from a car accident. His wife, Dorothy, was seeking a lifetime of alimony payments to the tune of $850 a month from her estranged husband. A judge sided with McGurk and he was ordered to pay $400 a month for two years instead. He also received 60% from the sale of their house and thousands of dollars in legal fees because of his ex-wife’s ‘dilatory tactics.’
Almazo’s grandson Brian was still in Richmond University Hospital yesterday with a broken foot according to his mother, Berta.
This article was taken from MailOnline