Police: Car Crash Kills 1, Injures 17 During Fundraiser for Fire Victims in PA

One person is dead, and 17 others are injured after a driver crashed his vehicle into a crowd of people during a fundraiser for victims of a recent house fire, according to Pennsylvania State Police.

Authorities received a report of a crash in Berwick on West 2nd Street at the Intoxicology Department bar at approximately 6:15 p.m.

On Sunday, Pennsylvania State Police announced that a suspect, identified as Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, is in custody. Reyes is also suspected of fatally assaulting a woman in Nescopeck following the fatal vehicle crash.

The suspect was arraigned by a magisterial district judge on two open counts of homicide and was denied bail. He is currently being held at Columbia County Correctional Center.

The identities of the deceased victims have not been released, although the victim of the Berwick vehicle crash is believed to be a 50-year-old woman from Wilkes-Barrie, according to a Columbia county coroner via NBC News.

The injured victims from the crash were all transported to the hospital, with 12 currently at a Geisinger Danville hospital, three at a Geisinger Wyoming Valley hospital, one at a Berwick hospital, and one at a Geisinger Bloomberg hospital, police noted.

A Geisinger health care system spokeswoman told reporters that four are currently in critical condition.

State police noted that the investigation is still currently active.

Members of the community had gathered on Saturday at the Intoxicology Department bar for a fundraiser for the family and friends of the ten victims who were tragically killed in a house fire in Nescopeck, according to WNEP.

Among the dead in the fire were three young siblings, ages five, six, and seven, and seven adults, ranging from their late teens to a 79-year-old man, the Associated Press reported.

All ten victims were believed to have died from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire has not been determined and is still currently under investigation.

Funerals for the three young siblings occurred on Friday, the Associated Press noted.

The Intoxicology Department bar released a statement on social media following the Berwick crash.

“Today was an absolute tragedy. We will be closed until further notice. Please respect our privacy while we grieve and try to process the events that occurred,” the restaurant wrote.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) released a statement on social media in response to Saturday’s tragedy.

“This is heartbreaking. These families were already mourning the loss of loved ones, and now they’re again facing tremendous loss,” Toomey said on Sunday. “My thoughts are with the families affected and the Berwick community. I’m grateful first responders quickly helped those injured.”

Berwick is a borough in Columbia County with a population of over 10,300 residents and is located across the Susquehanna River from Nescopeck borough in Luzerne County, which has a population of over 1,300 residents.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.

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