Updated 04/10/2012 03:13 PM
S.I. Grandmother Killed In Hit-And-Run Remembered As Hero
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Family and friends gathered Tuesday to pay their final respects to a Staten Island grandmother who was killed in a hit-and-run accident last week.
Funeral services were held for for Clara Almazo, 52, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Saint Benedicta Church in West Brighton.
Police say she was struck by an SUV driven by Brian McGurk, 40, while crossing Cary Avenue with her eight-year-old grandson, Brian Herrera-Ramirez, following Holy Thursday mass.
Witnesses say she pushed her grandson out of the way.
Herrera-Ramirez suffered a broken leg and was released Monday from Richmond University Medical Center.
He attended the funeral on crutches and at one point told reporters, "She was my favorite grandma."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who presided over the service, says he wanted to be there after hearing the story of Almazo's heroism.
"Coming home from Holy Thursday mass, I mean the night that Jesus begins his Passion and giving her life for her little grandson. If that's not Christian witness, if that's not heroic virtue I don't know what is," Dolan said.
Almazo had 13 children and 23 grandchildren. Family and friends say she was active in her church and in the community.
"I know her since I was little, you know, she was a great person," said Almazo's cousin, Juan Castillo.
"She's a good lady and she didn't want anything to happen to her grandson," said Almazo's neighbor, Erica Suarez.
McGurk, who is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, is due back in court on Wednesday.
Almazo will be buried in her hometown in Mexico.