BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— It’s hard to comprehend what a tight-knit local community has endured in a matter of days. First, a fire that killed ten people barely more than a week ago. Then Saturday night, a deadly crash into a crowd gathered to honor those fire victims at a fundraiser, followed by a woman’s murder.
Devastation cannot only be seen but also felt today across the communities of Berwick and Nescopeck.
People are mourning the unfathomable losses of three horrific tragedies.
“Your strength is everlasting, and god, we need that strength today,” a man in attendance prays.
Prayers for strength could be heard Sunday in Berwick as a crowd gathered together to cope with the aftermath of three tragedies in just eight days.
“It’s just terrible. I mean it’s just this world anymore,” said Jerry Nash, a south Center Township resident.
Just a short distance away tankers processed through the neighboring borough of Nescopeck during a joint funeral for firefighter Dale Baker and his sister Star Baker.
They are two of the 10 victims who lost their lives in a horrific house fire on August 5th.
Like lightning, tragedy struck the community a second time Saturday night.
During a fundraiser for the fire victims at the Intoxicology Department bar on West Second Street in Berwick, a man drove his car through the crowd, killing 50-year-old Rebecca Reese and injuring 17.
“Considering what’s happened here, in times like this it’s always good to turn to the lord and have his support and people need prayer, they need encouragement, they need help,” said Pastor Brad Iverson from the Berwick Bible Church.
The man accused of committing the carnage is 24-year-old Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes.
After the crash, police say he fled in his car to Nescopeck and struck his mother, 56-year-old Rosa Reyes, on Ridgewood Avenue, then brutally assaulted her with a hammer, killing her.
“This is a complete tragedy, in a community where there’s already been tragedy. We are going to do our job to the best of our abilities to conduct a thorough investigation, not only for the families but the community members, they’re already hurting,” said Trooper Anthony Petroski from the Pennsylvania State Police.
Emotions are on display at a heartfelt memorial at the scene of the crash as the community pushes forward.
“It’s terrible, especially in these two communities. We’re so, we get along so good together and something like this happening. I just can’t believe it happens, but it does,” said George Augustine from Nescopeck.
“We need you right now to bring a strength and a comfort that we just can’t even fathom,” an unnamed man prayed.
So far, Sura Reyes is charged with two open counts of criminal homicide. He is being held in Columbia County Prison without bail.