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Suspect confesses to fatal crash into crowd at benefit

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The suspect in Saturday’s fatal collision with a mob in Pennsylvania said it was intentional and detailed a subsequent fatal attack on his mother, police said Sunday.

Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, faces two outstanding counts of criminal murder following the deaths of an unidentified 50-year-old Wilkes-Barre woman who was in the mob and Reyes’ mother, identified by the Luzerne County coroner as Rosa D. Reyes, 56.

In a criminal complaint filed Sunday, Pennsylvania state police investigators say Defendant Reyes confessed to both murders — an estimated 3 miles apart — after being notified of his right not to cooperate.

A trooper asked if he was aware of what happened outside a bar in Berwick, where a vehicle hit 18 people early on Saturday.

“Yes, I was,” says the defendant.

According to the story of the complaint, he confessed to Troopers Jason Zoshak and Andrew Morgantini, who interviewed Reyes at the Shickshinny State Police Prison, that the spree began when he drove off after an argument with his mother at their home in Nescopeck.

He said he happened to drive past a crowd gathering in a parking lot outside a Berwick bar and eatery called the Intoxicology Department, which was organizing a benefit for families of those who died in a horrific house fire on Aug. 5.

Troopers cite Reyes as saying he “accelerated” when the Honda Accord he was driving hit the crowd. Discussing his mindset at the moment, he said he was tired of discussing money and other matters with his mother, according to the document.

“I didn’t ram them,” Reyes is quoted as saying. “I just ran them over.”

The defendant said he returned home to Nescopeck, across the Susquehanna River from Berwick, saw his mother in the street and ran into her, according to the indictment.

He got out of the vehicle, saw that she was unconscious, grabbed a hammer he knew was in the Honda and hit her four or five times, the complaint said.

Reyes was arrested after the Nescopeck incident. Both victims were pronounced dead at their respective scenes.

In Berwick, 17 other people were injured, five of them seriously, after the collision outside the Intoxicology department shortly after 6 p.m., hospital officials and police said.

People had gathered outside the venue, where attractions included a scheduled water balloon fight, a dunk tank, several vendors with blue pop-up awnings and a basket raffle, according to social media accounts.

The establishment said on Facebook that it was closed until further notice.

“Today was an absolute tragedy,” the post said. “Please respect our privacy as we grieve and try to process the events that have taken place.”

The indictment on Saturday did not answer questions from reporters about possible links between the defendant and the August 5 fire that inspired the benefit.

Reyes was denied bail and held at the Columbia County Correctional Facility, state police said Sunday.


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