BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— One person was killed and another 17 people injured when a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar during a fundraiser for families of 10 people killed in a house fire.
The man police say was the driver was later arrested in the killing of his mother nearby.
State troopers have charged Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, a 24-year-old man from Nescopeck, with killing two people and sending 17 others to the hospital with injuries on Saturday.
State Trooper Anthony Petroski said 18 people were hit by a vehicle while gathered at the Intoxicology Department bar in Berwick at a fundraiser for the families of the 10 people who died in a house fire earlier this month. According to Petroski, the crash left one person dead and sent 17 people to the hospital.
Petroski could not confirm whether the crash into the crowd of people was intentional, but did say troopers would release information as it is available.
Shortly after the crash, Pennsylvania State Police said they received a call for a male that was physically assaulting a female. Upon arriving on the scene, troopers found the woman had been killed. Reyes was taken into custody by police.
The Luzerne County Coroner said the victim of the homicide was Rosa D. Reyes, 56, the suspect’s mother. The coroner said she died after being struck by a car and assaulted multiple times with a hammer.
Investigators say her son faces two open counts of criminal homicide. He has been denied bail and is being held in the Columbia County Correctional Facility.
Reporters got a first look at Reyes at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday. When asked if he had any comment on the situation he responded, “Sorry, I’m sorry.”
Petroski told reporters at a midnight news conference that Sura Reyes was not currently a suspect in the fire, the cause of which remains under investigation.
“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.”
As of 5 a.m. Sunday, a representative from the hospital provided an update on 15 of the 17 patients being treated for injuries in the crash. Eight were still in the hospital, five of them in critical condition.
Columbia County Coroner Jeremy Reese said the person pronounced dead at the scene of the crash was a 50-year-old woman. The identity of the woman was being held until her family could be notified.
The Intoxicology Department bar, where the crash happened, announced they will be closed until further notice.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.