The Edmond Sun

Nation & World

March 20, 2013

Explosion levels home, believed to be revenge

PATTON, Pa. — A Tuesday morning explosion that leveled a house about three miles south of Patton, Pa., killing one person and injuring two, is thought to be a case of a Hastings area man bent on revenge.

Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski confirmed the deceased as Bradley Gene Kollar, 40, of the 100 block of Harvey Street, Hastings.

Sources said Kollar loaded his sport utility vehicle with explosives and drove to the home of William Shaner at 882 Kepshire Road in Clearfield Township.

Kwiatkowski ruled Kollar’s death a suicide, but did not say how he came to that conclusion.

It is believed Kollar drove his explosive-loaded vehicle into the Shaner home shortly before 9 a.m., causing the massive explosion that left the site looking like a war zone.

At 9 a.m., Kollar was scheduled to be sentenced in Cambria County court on charges that he ran a chop shop and meth lab from his family’s property.

Kollar was a no-show for the sentencing and an arrest warrant was issued. The sentencing was rescheduled for next week.

Kollar’s attorney, Art McQuillan, wasn’t saying much late Tuesday.

“I can confirm he did not appear for sentencing this morning. Other than that I don’t know anything,” the Johnstown attorney said.

Sources told The Tribune-Democrat that Kollar was convinced Shaner had “snitched” on him and his father, John Kollar, 64.

The status of the elder Kollar’s case could not immediately be determined late Tuesday.

The explosion rocked the area, which is located along Route 36 between Patton and Chest Springs.

One woman said she felt it at her home four miles away in the Ashville area.

Others in the Patton area to the north of the site reported feeling some vibration and hearing a loud “bang.”

Luke Lansberry, principal of Central Cambria Elementary School, lives across from the intersection where Route 36 meets Kepshire Road. The principal was at the elementary school until just before 5 p.m. and his wife and children – who were also at school – had not been home when the explosion occurred. Lansberry said he did not know the Shaners well.

The blast initially was reported as a meth lab explosion. State police said the cause of the blast is yet to be determined. However, John Matchik, state police public information officer, said authorities are consulting with experts from the hazardous device and explosives division.

“We activated our major case team, which is a large contingent of criminal investigators,” he said.

“What they’re doing now is going through and making contact with family members and things along those lines.”

A ballistics team was at the scene much of Tuesday, according to Matchik, and Patton Volunteer Fire Company used bucket trucks to give investigators an aerial view of the scene. Before that, a helicopter circled above the blasted plot.

Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents arrived shortly before 5 p.m. and began sifting through the mounds of rubble. The FBI also is involved, according to Matchik.

Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan, who went to the scene immediately following the explosion, referred questions to state police.

Two victims transported to the Altoona Regional Health System – one male adult and one male teenager – were not identified and the extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

“Right now, we’re still trying to verify the locations of each of our victims whenever the blast actually occurred,” Matchik said.

Neighbors of the Shaners said the family had three children and two are believed to have just been picked up by their bus headed to class in the Cambria Heights School District. Classes were delayed by two hours due to winter road conditions.

The site of the explosion is directly across from the Clearfield Township Municipal Building, which apparently was not impacted.

State police cruisers sat at the entrance to Kepshire Road keeping the curious and the reporters away from the scene, which was about 150 yards from Route 36. Unmarked police vehicles maintained a perimeter near the Route 36 and Kepshire intersection to keep people from crossing through adjacent fields.

A computer rending of the area prior to the explosion shows a house and two buildings, including a garage and a swimming pool. An aerial view after the blast shows a garage and a badly burned vehicle just off Kepshire Road and in the area where the house had been.

“We are treating this as a criminal investigation at this point,” Matchik said. “We want to make sure we conduct this investigation very methodically.”

Hours after the blast, debris such as building materials and paper was spotted hundreds of yards from the scene.

Tufts of fiberglass insulation, carried by Tuesday’s strong winds, dotted the neighboring fields and homeowners’ yards in all directions.

Matchik said Kepshire Road could continue to be closed today, although that was speculative, given the current state of the investigation.

Bradley Kollar and his father were taken into custody March 6, 2012, after a massive raid on a family-owned 47-acre property – the former Rich Mines site – located in Susquehanna and Elder townships.

Stolen equipment, including a front-end loader, was recovered.

Also found were what police described as materials possibly used in a meth lab and some explosive materials.

Court records list John Kollar’s address as Murphy Springs Road in Susquehanna Township.

Both men posted bail and were out of prison at the time.

Bradley Kollar’s mental status apparently had been a concern for authorities for some time.

Court records show that the district attorney’s office, after receiving reports that he was contemplating suicide and may have access to explosives, attempted unsuccessfully to have his bail revoked.

Details provided by The Johnstown, PA, Tribune Democrat.

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • A Q&A on ‘Obamacare’ Court Rulings

    On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings on the legality of tax subsidies being provided to people who bought “Obamacare” health insurance policies in Oklahoma and 35 other states.
    Here’s a look at the rulings’ potential impact in Oklahoma.

    Q: I’m confused. What did the courts rule today?
    A: A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Washington, D.C., decided that the government can’t provide tax subsidies for Affordable Care Act plans purchased in 36 states where the federal government is operating the health insurance exchange. Oklahoma is one of the 36 states. A few hours later, the U.S. Court of Appeals circuit in Richmond, Va., issued a conflicting ruling that upheld the legality of the health-care law’s tax subsidies.

    July 22, 2014

  • June healthy month for Oklahoma jobs

    Nearly 10,000 new jobs in Oklahoma were created in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday the state experienced one of the largest increases in employment in the nation in June. More than 9,600 additional people joined the state’s workforce in June.
    The unemployment rate in June dropped to 4.5 percent, its lowest ratio in six years. June’s rate was down a percentage point from 4.6 percent in May and April, according to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
    “It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”

    July 22, 2014

  • UCO campus 3.jpg University of Central Oklahoma recognized as having friendly work environment

    The Chronicle of Higher Education named the University of Central Oklahoma as one of the “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.” Central is the only higher education institution in the state recognized on the list and one of only a handful of institutions in the nation given the distinction of being named to the Honor Roll for being cited most often among all the recognition categories.          
    Central joins Duke, Baylor and Notre Dame on the list of the 10 universities named to the large institution honor roll.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sparring justices find little disagreement at the opera

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed a different view of U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday when she described about her passion for opera, one she shares with Justice Antonin Scalia.

    July 21, 2014

  • Experts: Ukraine airliner disaster has implications for U.S. security

    Use of surface-to-air missiles by extra-military personnel to shoot down civilian aircraft may be an emerging threat to the United States, a terrorism expert said.
    On Thursday, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border. Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken — men, women, children, infants — who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine, President Barack Obama said during a statement on the conflict in front of reporters at the White House.

    July 18, 2014

  • Rabbi, UCO professor provide Middle East perspectives

    Hours after Israel launched ground operations in the Gaza Strip, the leader of a metro synagogue and a UCO professor who was raised in the West Bank shared their thoughts about the escalating conflict.  
    During the latest cycle of violence sparked by the kidnapping and deaths of three Israeli teenagers that Israel blames on Hamas, the Jewish nation launched air strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

    July 18, 2014

  • spts-OC Rhein Gibson British Open.jpg OC alum Gibson holes pressure putt on 18, makes cut at British Open

    It was the biggest putt of Rhein Gibson’s life — which is saying something for a guy who once shot a world-record 55 — and the Oklahoma Christian alum and Edmond resident responded the way he has so many times before.
    A four-time NAIA All-American while at Oklahoma Christian University, Gibson made the 15-footer for a birdie on No. 18 as darkness descended at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, capping a 2-over-par 74 and allowing him to make the cut in the world’s most prestigious tournament.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • spts-Senior Open Josh Cook hands on hips.jpg ‘Cook’-ing up a championship golf course

    When the practice rounds began at the U.S. Senior Open July 7, the ramblings were almost non-stop.
    From the players who live at the course to professional golfers from across the ocean and diverse parts of the globe, the consensus was that Oak Tree National was in tremendous shape and the players were keyed up to compete on it.
    “The golf course is fantastic,” Oak Tree resident Bob Tway said on the first day of competition July 10. “It’s hard, but it’s fantastic.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014