1 dead, 17 injured after car crashes into crowd at fundraiser for fire victims

At least one person was killed and 17 others injured when a car slammed into a crowd gathered at a Pennsylvania bar to support victims of a recent deadly fire, state police said.

Geisinger Hospital confirmed in a statement that it was treating more than 15 patients, four of them in critical condition.

State police were called to the area near the addictions department bar in Berwick around 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Anthony Petroski told reporters.

Police said a vehicle “drove through a crowd at a community event”.

Soldiers then received a call about a man allegedly assaulting a woman in nearby Nescopeck County, Petroski said. He said officers arrived to find a dead woman at the scene. Officers arrested the man, who they believe was a suspect in both incidents, police said.

Police have not identified the suspect or detailed possible charges. Petroski said investigators are determining if the suspect intentionally drove into the crowd.

“These investigations are very active,” police said in a statement.

Reliance Fire Company No 1, which serves Berwick, said crews were at the scene of a ‘high casualty incident’ at the bar on Saturday night.

“Please avoid the area as this is an ongoing incident and will remain so for some time,” the fire company posted on Facebook.

The bar was hosting a benefit for families affected by a deadly fire that occurred in Nescopeck earlier this month. Ten people, including three children, were killed in the August 5 fire, while three adults were able to get out safely. The cause of the fire, which destroyed the house, is under investigation.

The restaurant where the event was taking place posted a statement on its Facebook page.

“Today has been an absolute tragedy. We will be closed until further notice. Please respect our privacy as we grieve and try to process the events that have transpired. Thank you,” the statement read.

Darren J. Reynolds contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check for updates.

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