Ex-boyfriend of shooting victim dead in fiery crash

Last updated: January 2, 2023 - 5:48am


ARISTES — The ex-boyfriend of a Geisinger employee shot to death Friday night in the hospital parking lot was found dead with a gunshot wound at the scene of a fiery vehicle crash about an hour later, county coroners said.

Vikki Wetzel, 49, of Berwick, was returning from her car at 5:04 p.m. after her shift at the Laboratory Medicine Department at Geisinger Medical Center when she was repeatedly shot, said Montour County Coroner Scott Lynn.

Video surveillance showed a man fleeing the scene in a dark SUV, possibly a Ford Edge, Lynn said.

At 6:12 p.m., rescuers were dispatched to a vehicle accident on Route 42 by Weiser State Forest’s Roaring Creek Tract.

Witnesses reported that a vehicle had “exploded.”

Wetzel's ex-boyfriend, David Morgan, 48, of Mount Carmel, had been thrown from the burning SUV. The driver’s body had burns as well as what appeared to be a gunshot wound, said Columbia County Coroner Jeremy Reese. He said he suspects the man was shot before the crash.

Reese was scheduling a forensic autopsy.

Until recently, Wetzel had lived in Bloomsburg. Bloomsburg Police Chief Scott Price said her car was vandalized three times between October and December. There were no witnesses or suspects, police said.

She moved to Berwick after buying a new home in July. On Saturday, a surveillance camera in a front window followed anyone coming up the walkway; another camera guarded the door.

Berwick Police Chief Kenneth Strish said her car had suffered minor damage in a hit and run Dec. 9, but that it was most likely due to the Christmas Boulevard.

Police used audio recordings from a private home’s security system to pin down the time of the shooting, which took place in an employee parking lot north of the main hospital building and Red Lane.

Geisinger Medical Center went into lockdown as police searched the hospital for the attacker, said Crystal Muthler, chief nursing officer. By 6 p.m., the emergency room was open, but security officers were escorting patients to and from their vehicles, she said. 

By 10:30 p.m., the hospital was reopened and back to normal, said Michael McMullen, hospital spokesman.

Reese said State Police covering both Montour and Columbia counties continue to investigate.

Susan Schwartz covers the Berwick area. She can be reached at 570-387-1234, ext. 1306, and susan.schwartz@pressenterprise.net, or followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PESueSchwartz.

 

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