Driver steers car into pedestrians in Times Square

Crash kills a teenager and in­jures 22 oth­ers.

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Colleen Long As­so­ci­ated Press

NEW YORK — A man who ap­peared to be in­tox­i­cated steered his car onto a side­walk run­ning through the heart ofNewYorkCity’s Times Square on Thurs­day and mowed down pedestrians for three blocks, killing a teenager and in­jur­ing 22 oth­ers be­fore he was tack­led by by­standers, au­thor­i­ties said.

Pan­de­mo­nium erupted when the ve­hi­cle bar­reled through the prime tourist at­trac­tion and slammed into a se­cu­rity bar­rier, com­ing to rest with two of its wheels in the air. The car leaned on a lamp­post and steel bar­ri­ers in­tended to block ve­hi­cles from the side­walk.

“He didn’t stop,” said Asa Lowe, of Brook­lyn. “He just kept go­ing.”

The driver was tack­led by pedestrians and taken into cus­tody. Charges against himwere pend­ing.

The crash hap­pened at mid­day on a hot, clear day that­brought large crowds of peo­ple into the streets to en­joy the good weather. Video posted online showed steam or smoke pour­ing from the car for a few mo­ments af­ter it stopped­mov­ing.

The driver, a 26-year-old Navy vet­eran named Richard Ro­jas, was taken into cus­tody and was un­der­go­ing tests for al­co­hol and drugs, Po­lice Com­mis­sioner James O’Neill said. Ro­jas had been ar­rested at least twice be­fore for driv­ing while in­tox­i­cated, in 2008 and 2015, po­lice said. He pleaded guilty to an in­frac­tion in 2015 and was or­dered to com­plete a drunken driv­ing pro­gra­mand lost his li­cense for 90 days.

He was ar­rested last week on a charge of men­ac­ing. Po­lice said he pointed a kitchen knife at a no­tary who’d come over to do pa­per­work, and he ac­cused the no­tary of steal­ing his iden­tity. The case is pend­ing.

The crash killed an 18year-old woman, and the in­jured in­cluded her 13year-old sis­ter, po­lice said.

JEWEL SAMAD/GETTY-AFP

Fire­fight­ers work on the car that ran into pedestrians in Times Square, killing one per­son and in­jur­ing 22 oth­ers.

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