Driver Strikes Several at Pennsylvania Fundraiser, Killing 1
BERWICK, Pa. — One person was killed and another 17 people injured when a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar for a fundraiser for victims of a house fire that killed 10 earlier this month; the man police say was the driver was arrested shortly afterward in the beating death of his mother nearby.
At 6:15 pm Saturday, the crash happened outside Berwick’s Intoxicology Department bar. The event was scheduled to raise funds for victims of the August 5 fire that claimed seven lives and injured three others in Nescopeck.
The driver was identified by the Pennsylvania State Police as Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, of Nescopeck. Two counts of criminal murder were brought against him on Sunday morning.
Shortly after the crash was reported, troopers were called about a man “physically assaulting” a woman less than a mile away in Nescopeck. Troopers reached Sura Reyes, who had been taken into police custody and the body of a female victim.
Luzerne County Coroner Francis Hacken confirmed Sunday that the victim, Rosa D. Reyes, 56, of Nescopeck — dead of multiple traumatic injuries after being struck by a vehicle and then assaulted with a hammer — was the mother of suspect Sura Reyes.
Geisinger Medical Center reported that 15 of the victims were treated at its hospital following the collision. A spokesperson for the hospital said five patients were still listed as in critical condition. Three others are in fair condition. Seven people were treated in hospitals, and then released.
Trooper Anthony Petroski III stated to reporters during a midnight press conference that Sura Remeyes is not currently being investigated in connection with the fire.
“This is a complete tragedy in a community where there’s already been tragedy,” Petroski said. “We are going to do our job to the best of our abilities to conduct a thorough investigation not only for the families but the community members. They’re already hurting.”
Sura Reyes refused bail, and was held in Columbia County Prison pending an Aug. 29 preliminary Hearing. Wilkes-Barre newspapers reported that he said only “Sorry” in response to reporters’ questions as he was taken from Shickshinny police station. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had a lawyer to comment on his behalf.
Friday saw the first of many funerals held for fire victims. Sunday was to follow.
The bar called the events an “absolute tragedy” and said on its Facebook page that they will be closed until further notice and would like privacy “while we grieve add try to process the events that occurred.”
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