Driver steers car into pedestrians in Times Square
Crash kills a teenager and injures 22 others.
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.
Firefighters work on the car that ran into pedestrians in Times Square, killing one person and injuring 22 others.