1 dead, scores injured car plows into Times Square pedestrians

Danny Woods
May 19, 2017

A teenager was killed and 22 others were wounded when an out-of-control vehicle driven by a suspected drunk-driver ploughed into pedestrians in New York's Times Square.

Firefighters said the accident took place at 45th Street and Broadway in Times Square at the start of the lunch hour.

The driver, who has a history of drunken driving, is in custody, a New York Police Department source said.

Police say the Bronx man was being tested for alcohol and drugs.

"He's just mowing down people".

There is no indication of terrorism based on information at this time, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

The New York Post is reporting that the woman killed was Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old visiting the city from MI with her 13-year-old sister, who was also injured in the incident. More than 200 of them were installed past year in partnership with city and Times Square officials to reduce pedestrian injuries and prevent unintentional or terrorist vehicle "incursions", according to bollard maker Calpipe Security Bollards.

A witness told ABC station WABC-TV that the driver got out of the vehicle after the crash and ran across the street. The New York Times is reporting that Rojas appeared to be intoxicated.

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The driver, whom police identified as Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bonx was arrested at the scene. It was unclear when Rojas, who was in custody, would get a lawyer or face formal charges in court.

Elena Kovachenko, a 16-year-old high school student from Queens, told Business Insider that she heard "bodies fall on the ground" when the vehicle plowed through. A maroon sedan vehicle lay partially upended on its side on the sidewalk with smoke and isolated flames spewing out of the hood, photographs on social media showed.

"People just got stunned", he said. "It didn't seem like it was going to stop".

NY mayor Bill de Blasio is due to visit the scene, his office said. President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, is aware of the incident and will be updated, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

First responders at the corner of West 44th Street and 7th Avenue after a vehicle struck multiple people.

Times Square averaged about 360,000 daily visitors in April, according to a tally by the Times Square Alliance, making it one of the most visited locations in the world.

A auto traveling through Times Square has driven into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring several people. "I'm so freaked out!" the daughter said.

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