2 dead, 3 injured after crash involving state police vehicle in Berks County

Written by Merriell Moyer/Lebanon Daily News | Aug 5, 2018 4:45 PM

FILE - A state police trooper vehicle in Franklin County (Public Opinion)

Two Denver, Pa. residents are dead and three people are injured - including a state police trooper - after a crash in Berks County Saturday.

James Cooling, 62, and Michele Cooling, 65, both of Denver, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Berks County Coroner's office after their vehicle was involved in a crash at 10:22 a.m. Saturday with two other vehicles, including one state police patrol vehicle, on Route 422 at Sportsman Road, South Heidelberg Township, according to a news release issued by state police. 

State police were responding to 412 W. Oak Ave., Robesonia Borough, to assist Western Berks Regional Police Department for an aggravated assault in progress of a Western Berks police officer involving Peter Budwash, no age listed, of Robesonia, who is wanted for probation and DUI warrants. 

While travelling with lights and siren activated to the Oak Avenue location, a state police marked patrol vehicle was involved in a three-vehicle crash at Route 422 and Sportsman Road, the news release says.

The state police vehicle was travelling westbound on Route 422, and struck the Cooling's vehicle on the driver side. The impact then pushed both the state police vehicle and the Cooling's vehicle into a vehicle operated by Paul McCoy, 82, Narvon.

The McCoy vehicle was travelling eastbound on Route 422 as the Cooling's vehicle, which was travelling south, entered the intersection with Route 422 from Sportsman Road, state police said.

A second trooper, who was also responding to the aggravated assault in a marked patrol vehicle, came upon the crash and immediately began providing first aid. 

McCoy and his passenger, Mary Lynn McCoy, 72, of Narvon, were injured in the crash and transported to Reading Hospital. 

The male trooper was also injured in the crash and transported to Reading Hospital.

The state police Collision Analysis Reconstruction Specialist Unit (CARS) is reconstructing the crash and the Major Case Team and Forensic Services Unit are assisting.   

The Pennsylvania State Police is currently seeking Peter Budwash, for aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and possessing instruments of a crime because of this incident.

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and The Lebanon Daily News.

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