The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

March 19, 2013

Top 10 of 2013 | Explosion levels home

Sources: Was act of revenge

PATTON — A Tuesday morning explosion that leveled a house about three miles south of Patton, 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.

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