Vehicle drives wrong way in Times Square and hits crowds; 1 dead

Alvin Kelly
May 19, 2017

They said he had been arrested twice for drunken driving in 2008 and 2015, and once earlier this month for menacing.

Police say the Bronx man was being tested for alcohol and drugs. "I asked him to get help, but he didn't".

"It was going at a fast rate of speed and to me it looked like it was trying to hit as many people as possible", she said.

"The vehicle hit the guy from the back ..."

"I had to move him from the fire".

A man steered his auto onto a sidewalk running through the heart of Times Square and mowed down pedestrians for three blocks Thursday, killing a teenager, then emerged from his wrecked vehicle wild-eyed and waving his arms before he was subdued by police and bystanders.

Rojas was arrested seven days later when he was driving south on Seventh Avenue and pulled a U-turn at West 42nd Street where he hopped a curb several blocks north and plowed through a crowded sidewalk for several blocks before crashing to a halt, police said.

"If you didn't know her, you might think she's reserved or shy", school principal Eric Alburtus said.

The report said he yelled, "My life is over", when officers pulled him over.

The Crossroads of the World became the center of fear amid Thursday's deadly Times Square auto crash.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism, but the bomb squad has responded as a precaution to check the vehicle.

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Hines, who works a couple of blocks away from the crash scene, said he saw four people being taken from the area by ambulance. Parts of the auto as well as shoes and clothing were strewn across the road.

'She would always text me back as quick as she could and when I didn't hear from her or her friend I knew something terrible happened, ' said West.

Police closed off the area and buildings were on lock down.

"They mowed everyone down", said an unidentified girl out shopping with her mother, Cheryl Howard, who had blood dripping down her right arm and a swollen bruise above her left eye. Television footage showed police officers restraining a man in a dark T-shirt and placing him in a police auto.

The incident is not connected to terrorism, the mayor said, Reuters reported. Her 13-year-old sister was with her at the time, and was injured in the incident. "NYPD detectives from multiple units are investigating the incident". Police then handcuffed him.

Witnesses said the motorist had driven against traffic and onto the sidewalk, striking pedestrians.

The White House said President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of the situation in Times Square and will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds. "I just stood there in shock and then I got really scared and ran into the doorway of the Walgreens in case more cars were coming, but cops were already shutting down the road and rendering aid".

"He's just mowing down people", said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming.

Five employees from Proctors in Schenectady were just around the corner from the crash when it happened and witnessed its aftermath, said Michael Eck, the theater's publicist.

At the scene seven people were placed on stretchers while shoes were scattered on the pavement.

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