Driver rams into Times Square crowd
A vehicle driving through New York City’s bustling Times Square plowed into a crowd, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 others during Thursday’s lunchtime rush, authorities said.
The driver, who was identified by police as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, was driving down Seventh Avenue in Manhattan when he made a sudden U-turn, mounted a sidewalk and drove at a “high rate” for several blocks, striking unsuspecting pedestrians along the way, authorities said. An 18year-old woman was killed, authorities said, and her 13-yearold sister was injured. Police did not release information on the other victims.
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said during an afternoon news conference that there is no indication the incident was related to terrorism.
Just minutes before noon, a maroon Honda Accord made a U-turn on Seventh Avenue and started speeding the wrong way from 42nd to 45th Street, according to authorities and witnesses.
People described the horror on social media, saying a car had driven onto a sidewalk in Times Square, mowed pedestrians down and crashed. Witnesses said the wounded were “laying on the sidewalks” and others were “screaming and running, the place is swarming with emergency vehicles and cops.” Those in the area were told to shelter-in-place while emergency crews arrived at the scene.
The Honda Accord that Rojas was driving sat smoldering, tilted on one side, at the corner of 45th Street.
Authorities said Rojas is a U.S. Navy veteran with a criminal history that includes two arrests for drunken driving. After the incident Thursday, Rojas was taken into custody and was being tested for drugs and alcohol, police said. Police have not yet released the results of the tests.
A vehicle that mowed down pedestrians and later crashed lies on the sidewalk in Times Square. One woman was killed and 22 injured in the crash. The driver, 26-year-old Richard Rojas, who has two prior arrests for drunken driving, was taken into custody and tested for drugs and alcohol.