A sad scene turned tragic on Saturday in Berwick, Pennsylvania, as a fundraiser for families and victims of a house fire was the latest crowd of people to be mowed down by a vehicle.
On Saturday, August 13th, a crowd gathered at the Intoxicology Department restaurant for a day-long fundraiser to raise money for the victims of a house fire. At roughly 6:15 p.m., a man drove through the crowd of people. 17 people were injured, and one person died from their injuries.
Serving Berwick, Reliance Fire Company No. 1 posted to their Facebook Saturday evening that they were responding to an “ongoing” “mass casualty incident” and that 2nd street was shut down at the time.
The man accused of hitting the people, identified as Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, is 24 years old. He is also accused of fatally attacking a woman in nearby Luzerne County after fleeing the crash. The suspect was arraigned Sunday morning on two counts of criminal homicide, the Pennsylvania State Police said in a news release. They have also told us Reyes is currently being held without bail at the Columbia County Correctional Facility.
The fundraiser was for victims and families of a house fire that killed seven adults and three children on August 5th in nearby Nescopeck, Pennsylvania. The children were 5, 6, and 7 years old, leaving families reeling with grief. The cause of the fire that destroyed the home is still under investigation. The fundraiser was intended to support families through this challenging time.
Intoxicology Department, the restaurant where the fundraiser took place, shared in a Facebook post, “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. Thank you.”
Police linked Reyes to a second death on Saturday night, saying the Shickshinny branch of Pennsylvania State Police was alerted to a man allegedly physically assaulting a woman in Nescopeck. When troopers arrived, the woman was found dead, and Reyes was taken into custody.
Reyes is not a suspect in the deadly Nescopeck house fire that victims of the attack on Saturday were raising money for.
Geisinger Hospital released a statement confirming they were caring for more than 15 patients, including four in critical condition.
The Luzerne County Coroner’s office identified the victim of the Nescopeck attack as Rosa Reyes, 56. Her death has been ruled a homicide after her autopsy showed she was killed by being hit by a vehicle before being assaulted with a hammer. Her relation to the suspect is unclear and unknown at this time.
A motive has not been released as to either of the fatal incidents, although police have released that they believe the two incidents are unrelated and are both still under investigation.