2018-08-09 / Local & State

3-Vehicle Crash Kills 2, Injures 3, Including State Trooper

SINKING SPRING, Pa. (AP) – A multi-vehicle crash killed two people and injured three others, including a state trooper who was responding to a call about a police officer being assaulted, authorities said.

The crash, in South Heidelberg Township, occurred late Saturday night and involved a state police sport utility vehicle, another SUV and a car.

The state police SUV had its lights and sirens activated and was heading west on Route 422 when it struck a southbound vehicle, and both then collided with an eastbound vehicle.

The Berks County coroner’s office said James Cooling, 62, and Michele Cooling, 65, of East Cocalico Township in Lancaster County, were killed. The trooper and two Narvon residents were hospitalized, authorities said.

“Today we lost two people in a fatal traffic crash, and I want to send out my sincere condolences to the families of those persons,” Capt. Kristal M. Turner- Childs said.

Police said the trooper was heading to help a Western Berks police officer assaulted while trying to arrest a man on probation and driving-under-the-influence warrants in Robesonia.

The Reading Eagle reported that the man charged the officer with a laundry basket, tried to push him down a flight of stairs, broke a window to climb out of the apartment and, after being forced back inside, broke another window and landed on the front porch. Police said the man then charged the officer, who slipped and fell, and the man then fled.

The officer was treated for a sprained wrist.

The man was charged with aggravated and simple assault, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and possessing instruments of crime. State police later reported that the man, Peter Budwash, of Sinking Spring, was taken into custody on Sunday at a hospital. Court documents don’t list an attorney for Budwash, and an attorney who previously represented him didn’t immediately return a message left Sunday seeking comment.

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