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Suspect confesses in deadly crash into crowd at benefit, police say

Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, is charged with 2 counts of criminal homicide in Berwick, Pennsylvania. His mother, who was 2 miles away, was killed afterward.
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The suspect in Saturday's deadly vehicle collision with a crowd 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 open counts of criminal homicide following the deaths of Rebecca Reese, 50, of Wilkes-Barre, who was in the crowd, 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 homicides — an estimated 2 miles apart — after he was informed of his right not to cooperate.

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

"Yeah, that was me," the defendant is quoted as saying.

According to the complaint's narrative, he confessed to Troopers Jason Zoshak and Andrew Morgantini, who interviewed Reyes at the Shickshinny state police jail, that the spree started when he drove off after an argument with his mother at their home in Nescopeck.

He said he happened to drive by a crowd gathered in a parking lot outside a Berwick bar and eatery called Intoxicology Department, which was hosting a benefit for families of those killed in a horrific house fire Aug. 5.

Troopers quote Reyes as saying he was "speeding up" as the Honda Accord he drove struck the crowd. He discussed his mindset at the moment, saying he was tired of arguing with his mother about money and other matters, according to the document.

"I didn't ram 'em," 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 accelerated into her, according to the complaint.

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

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

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

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

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

"Today was an absolute tragedy," the post said. "Please respect our privacy while we grieve and try to process the events that occurred."

State police on Monday said there were "no indications that this incident is related to the" Aug. 5 fire in Nescopeck Borough that inspired the benefit.

Reyes was denied bail and was being held at the Columbia County Correctional Facility, according to state police, adding he could face additional charges as the investigation continues.