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5 still critical after car drove through fundraiser crowd in Berwick

Nescopeck Volunteer Fire Company firefighter Harold Baker is comforted at the scene in Berwick, Pa., Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022, after authorities said a vehicle struck a crowd gathered at a bar to raise money for victims of a house fire that killed 10 earlier in the month. (Bob Kalinowski/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

BERWICK, Pa. (AP) — State police say five people remain in critical condition after a car drove through a crowd at a weekend fundraiser for victims of a fatal northeastern Pennsylvania fire earlier this month, killing one woman and injuring 17 other people.

Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, is charged with homicide in the death of 50-year-old Rebecca Reese, of Wilkes-Barre, at the Berwick fundraiser shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday. He faces another homicide count in the slaying of his mother at their Nescopeck home minutes later.

Police allege in a criminal complaint that Sura Reyes told investigators that he was driving in Berwick after arguing with his mother and was, “tired of fighting with his mother, including about money, and wanted to be done with it.”

At the same time, about 75 people had gathered in a blocked-off parking lot outside the Intoxicology Department bar for a fundraiser to benefit victims of the Aug. 5 blaze in Nescopeck that killed seven adults and three children.

Police allege that Sura Reyes told them he drove past the gathering, then turned around and headed back to the bar “to drive through the crowd of people.” They allege that video corroborates his alleged statement to investigators that he “sped up into the crowd purposefully.”

Of the 17 people injured, five remain in critical condition while two are listed as fair, and ten other people have been released following treatment, police said Monday.

Police said Sura Reyes told them he then returned to his Nescopeck home and saw his mother, 56-year-old Rosa Reyes, in the street. Police allege that he told them he hit her with the vehicle and then struck her with a hammer several times.

Sura Reyes is in Columbia County prison pending an Aug. 29 preliminary hearing. Court documents didn’t list an attorney who could offer comment on his behalf.

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