Car Crashes in Times Square, First Responders Report 1 Dead, 22 Injured

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

The auto then caught fire.

Footage of police arresting a driver after he plowed his auto into a crowd of people at Times Square, killing one person and injuring 22 on May 18, is making the rounds (video below).

New York Police Department (NYPD) said the driver of the auto was in custody and being tested for alcohol. Authorities said they did not believe it was a terrorist attack.

Firefighters and paramedics treat injured pedestrians.

Rojas made a U-turn onto a sidewalk in Times Square, according to the New York Police Department. According to CNN, Rojas, who allegedly has a history of drunk driving, was in police custody.

While officials did not immediately release a cause, the incident appeared to be accidental and not terror-related, multiple senior law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation told NBC News.

"This is a tough day for New York City, but I want to thank our first responders who got here so quickly", Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

He said that out of an "abundance of caution", security across key locations around the city will be stepped up and major sites in the city will get additional police coverage from the anti-terror units. The 18-year-old was reportedly visiting the city with her family when tragedy hit.

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The deceased is an 18-year-old MI tourist who was visiting the Big Apple with her family, including her 13-year-old sister who was injured, the New York Times reports.

Rojas was driving a maroon 2009 Honda Accord.

Witnesses said the driver was speeding, seemed to be aiming for pedestrians, appeared to be angry and was yelling.

Student Bruno Carvalho said the vehicle approached quickly and passed him on the sidewalk.

Photos from the scene showed casualties strewn across the walkway.

Planet Hollywood says Bradix "selflessly and heroically took action, helping to stop the fleeing suspect". He was combative with officers who handcuffed him, authorities said. Police then handcuffed him. There are many areas where vehicles could be driven onto packed sidewalks or public plazas. Streets were blocked off and some businesses were put on lockdown.

Along the way, 23 pedestrians were struck, police said. Their quick responses might have minimized the casualties, he said. Theatregoers should allow for additional travel time and plan to approach theatres from Sixth Avenue or Eighth Avenue while police still have most of Times Square cordoned off.

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