Berks County's #8 & #7 stories of 2013

Berks County's #8 & #7 stories of 2013

All this week, we are counting down our top stories of 2013 chosen by you, our viewers, in our online poll.

Tied for number eight is the infamous high school football fight that polarized the Hamburg community.

On Sept. 6, 2013, starting quarterback Joe Cominsky ripped off an Annville-Cleona player's helmet and hit him over the head with it twice.

"It was shocking. It is something that in 23 some years here, covering the Annvillle football games, we have never had any type of incident that escalated to that point," said Chief Ben Sutcliffe, South Annville Township Police Dept.

It was so shocking that South Annville police opened an investigation and looked at possibly pressing charges against Cominksy, but it had the community at odds.

"Suspend him. Take disciplinary action through the team and maybe community service or a fine," said Brian MacArthur, of Hamburg.

"Certainly, I feel there should be some repercussion for it because it was pretty far outside of the norm. I do not know if I would say he should never be able to play sports again," said Blake Kramer, of Hamburg.

Cominksy had to sit out two games. In the end, police did charge Cominsky with simple assault and disorderly conduct on Nov. 20, 2013.

Coming in at number seven is the 50-vehicle pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that killed a Pittsburgh man and caused a massive chain-reaction on Dec. 8, 2013.

"It looked like chaos. We get multiple accidents whenever there is ice or snow, just normally not that many vehicles involved," said Elverson EMS Chief Joe Carmen.

It started with a crash near mile-marker 300 on the westbound side near Morgantown.

"We were out in it. It was treacherous," said witness Elmeda Good.

Officials said Andrew Fisher, 35, got out of his car to help another driver and was killed while standing on the embankment. Most of the 56 vehicles involved were only minor fender benders.

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