Berwick, Pa. (AP) – One person was killed and 17 others injured when a vehicle plowed into a crowd at a Pennsylvania bar to raise funds for victims of a house fire that killed 10 people earlier this month; Police say the driver was arrested shortly after his mother was fatally shot at close range.
The crash happened around 6:15 p.m. Saturday outside the Department of Intoxicology bar in Berwick, which was scheduled to host an all-day fundraiser to benefit victims of the Aug. 5 fire that killed seven adults and three children in Nescopeck.
Pennsylvania State Police identified the driver as 24-year-old Adrian Oswaldo Zura Reyes of Neskope. He was arraigned on two counts of culpable homicide early Sunday morning.
Shortly after the crash was reported, troopers were called about a man “physically assaulting” a woman about a mile away in Nescopeck. Troopers arrive to find Sura Reyes arrested by local police and a woman dead.
Luzerne County Coroner Francis Hacken confirmed Sunday that Rosa D. Reyes, 56, of Nescopeck, died of multiple traumatic injuries after being hit by a vehicle and then struck with a hammer — the mother of the suspect, Sura Reyes.
A hospital spokeswoman said Sunday morning that it received 15 patients after the crash, five in critical condition and three in fair condition. Seven patients were treated at hospitals and released.
Trooper Anthony Petroski III told reporters at a midnight news conference that Sura Reyes is not currently a suspect in the fire, and the cause remains under investigation.
“It’s an absolute tragedy in a community that already had tragedy,” Petroski said. “We are going to do our job as best we can to have a thorough investigation, not only of the families, but also of the community members. They have already been affected.
Sura Reyes was denied bail and has been in the Columbia County Jail since Aug. 29 pending arraignment. Wilkes-Barre newspapers reported that he only said “I’m sorry” to reporters’ questions as he was led away from the Shikshinny police station. It was not immediately known if an attorney was available to comment on his behalf.
The first funeral of those who died in the fire was held on FridayAnd many more are scheduled on Sundays and Mondays.
The bar called the events an “absolute tragedy” and said on its Facebook page that they would be closed until further notice and wanted privacy to “try to process the events that took place while we grieve.”