BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — One person was killed and 17 others were injured Saturday when a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar, and the man police said was the driver was later arrested in the killing of a woman nearby.
State troopers have charged Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, of Nescopeck, in the deaths of two people.
State Trooper Anthony Petroski said 18 people were hit by a vehicle at the Intoxicology Department bar in Berwick where a fundraiser was being held for the families of 10 people who died in a house fire earlier in August.
Petroski could not confirm whether the crash into the crowd of people was intentional but said troopers would release information as it is available.
Shortly after the crash, Pennsylvania State Police said they received a call about a man who was assaulting a female. When troopers arrived at the scene, they found the woman dead and took Reyes into custody.
The Luzerne County Coroner identified the victim as Rosa D. Reyes, 56, the suspect’s mother. The coroner said she died after being hit by a car and assaulted multiple times with a hammer.
Investigators said 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 a.m. 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 people were still in the hospital, with five 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 Associated Press contributed to this report.