Irish American, Brian McGurk (40) appeared in court to face charges have run down a hero grandmother in a fatal hit and run. He was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
The postal worker, and member of the punk band “F**k the Irish”, got rid of his goatee and hoodie and appeared in cork in a pinstripe suit on Thursday.
Last Thursday night McGurk allegedly fled the scene having killed Clara Almazo (58) who pushed her eight-year-old grandson to safety before being mowed down by McGurk’s vehicle.
Almazo, her daughter Berta and grandson Brian, had just let a church service on Holy Thursday when McGurk’s SUV came towards them. The grandmother pushed her grandson out of the way before the SUV slammed into her. The car threw her 150 feet and killed her instantly. Her grandly only sustained a broken foot.
McGurk’s pregnant wife was among about a dozen friends and family present for his first appearance before Criminal Court Judge Desmond Green.
He did not enter a plea and his case was adjourned until 14th June.
Speaking to the press after the hearing, defense lawyer, Matthew Zuntag did not deny that McGurk hit Almazo. He noted that McGurk surrender himself to authorities within three hours.
Zuntag said “Whether Brian stopped his car or not, Mrs. Almazo would have died.”
“It is important here to realize that Brian did do the right thing. He went to the precinct as soon as he was physically able to do so.”
Police authorities told the New York Post McGurk turned himself in to 120th Precinct. He was accompanied by his brother, an NYPD police officer, and another former cop. He had no attorney with him.
If convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal accident he could face between one and three years in prison.
He has been released on bail of $50,000.
The law-enforcement officer said “Investigators are looking into anything that may have played a role, including speeding and alcohol…You face tougher charges if you stay and you’re drunk.”
McGurk (40) has no criminal record. Zuntag said “He has never been in trouble with the law in his entire life.”
On Tuesday the Almazo family remembered Clara, a grandmother of ten, at a service led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. He called the Mexican-born immigrant a “hero in death”.
Almazo’s family was not present at McGurk’s court hearing.
Here’s ABC7’s report on the tragic story of Clara Almazo’s death: