One person was killed and at least 17 more were injured after a man drove a vehicle into a crowd during a fundraiser at a Pennsylvania bar Saturday, according to authorities. The suspect then went on to kill his mother in a separate incident, police said.
The crash occurred outside the Intoxicology Department bar in Berwick, Pennsylvania, at about 6:15 p.m Saturday. The benefit was being held for the victims of a house fire in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania earlier this month that killed 10 people, including relatives of a volunteer firefighter who had arrived at the scene. All 10 victims died of smoke inhalation.
Pennsylvania State Police identified the driver as 24-year-old Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes in a press release. He was arraigned early Sunday on two counts of criminal homicide.
Police in Bloomsburg received a call to assist Berwick Police Department at about 6:15 p.m. after a vehicle "drove through a crowd at a community event," Pennsylvania State Police Troop N communications officer Anthony Petroski said in a press release early Sunday.
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Troopers and officers arrived and discovered numerous injuries, along with one fatality.
Geisinger Medical Center said it received 15 patients after the crash, and five remained in critical condition while three were listed in fair condition, a hospital spokesperson said Sunday morning. Seven patients had been treated at hospitals and released.
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. He declined comment on the suspect's relationship to the Nescopeck victim or on the motive for either crime.
Shortly after, Petroski said, state police in Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, received a call of a man "physically assaulting" a woman. The woman was found to be deceased when troopers arrived on the scene, and the man was detained by local police. The same man is believed to be the suspect in both incidents, according to police.
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.
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Police allege Reyes argued with his mother at their home, and was "extremely frustrated" and "tired of fighting with his mother" while driving through Berwick, according to a criminal complaint. Investigators said Reyes told police he drove past the gathering and then turned around "to drive through the crowd of people."
Video surveillance and statements from Reyes indicate he sped up as he drove into the crowd, the criminal complaint said. Reyes told investigators he saw his mother in the street when he returned home and struck her with his vehicle before hitting her with a hammer several times, police said.
"Today was an absolute tragedy." Intoxicology Department posted on Facebook Saturday night. "We will be closed until further notice. Please respect our privacy while we grieve and try to process the events that occurred."
The Columbia County district attorney’s office along with the Troop N Major Case Team are investigating the fatal crash as a homicide, according to Petroski.
The first funerals for victims of the fire were held Friday, and more were scheduled for Sunday and Monday. According to the Luzerne County District Attorney, the cause of the fire is under investigation.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on Pocono Record: Berwick, Pennsylvania car crash into bar fundraiser kills 1, hurts 17