A 40-year-old man was arraigned Friday in connection with a hit-and-run accident Thursday night that killed a Staten Island grandmother as she was on her way home from Holy Thursday Mass.
Police say Brian McGurk has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident.
He was ordered held on $50,000 bail during an appearance Friday at Stapleton criminal court.
Police believe McGurk was behind the wheel of an SUV that struck and killed Clara Almazo, 56, just before 10 p.m. Thursday as she crossed Cary Avenue near Elizabeth Street with her eight-year-old grandson Ryan.
Witnesses say Almazo pushed her grandson out of the way before she was hit.
She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Ryan was treated for a broken leg.
Friends and family say Almazo was active in the church and loved spending time with her family.
They say its no surprise she sacrificed herself to save one of her grandchildren.
"Everybody here knows my mom, everybody knows my mom because she has a warm heart, she is sweet. Because everybody help my mom. Everybody," said the victim's son, Emilio Herrera.
A reverend at Our Lady of Carmel Saint Benedicta Church where Almazo had just attended mass says the Mexican immigrant had nine children and many grandchildren.
McGurk's next court appearance is scheduled for April 11.