1 killed, 17 injured after car strikes crowd at Pennsylvania house fire fundraiser

BERWICK, Pa. — One person was killed and 17 people were injured Saturday after a vehicle crashed into a crowd gathered in a Pennsylvania city to raise money for the victims of a house fire that killed 10 people earlier this month. Police said the suspect in the case is also responsible for the death of a woman that occurred in a nearby city shortly after the crash.

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The crash occurred in Berwick at about 6:15 p.m. EDT, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania State Police. The Intoxicology Department bar, which was sponsoring a fundraising event for a fire that killed 10 people -- including three children -- on Aug. 5 in nearby Nescopeck, called the incident “an absolute tragedy” in a Facebook post and closed the business until further notice.

Columbia County Coroner Jeremy Reese told WBRE-TV that a 50-year-old woman was dead at the scene. Her identity was being withheld until next-of-kin notifications can be made, according to the television station.

A short time later, state police received a call about a man assaulting a woman in Nescopeck. Police arrived at the scene and found a woman dead, WNEP-TV reported. A man was taken into custody, and authorities said he was also the suspect in the Berwick crash, according to the television station.

State troopers identified the suspect as Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, of Nescopeck, WBRE reported.

Investigators said that Reyes faces two counts of criminal homicide, according to the television station. He has been denied bail and is being held in the Columbia County Correctional Facility.

In addition to the bar where the benefit was held, people had also gathered in an “adjacent outdoor space, where various vendors and a basket raffle were set up under tents, NBC News reported.

According to state police, 12 of the injured people were taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, three were transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre, one person was taken to Berwick Hospital Center and one was taken to Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital.

The fundraiser was being held for the families of the 10 people killed in the Nescopeck fire. One volunteer firefighter was related to all of the victims.

Harold Baker’s son, daughter and three grandchildren were among the victims, according to The Associated Press.

State police said the children who died were 5, 6 and 7 years old.

“I also lost my son, my daughter, grandson, two other grandkids in there, my father-in-law, my brother-in-law, and my sister-in-law,” Baker, 57, told WNEP. “All lost.

“The kids that were there and my two kids were just visiting their aunt and uncle. Those were the ones who own the house. They were there visiting and going into the pool and all that.”

All 10 victims of the fire died of smoke inhalation, WPVI-TV reported.