1 dead, 19 injured after auto crashes into Times Square crowd

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 19, 2017

Another witness told WABC a driver drove onto the sidewalk and drove over multiple people.

Rojas was in custody and unable to comment.

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.

Investigators look under a smashed vehicle that sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians at lunchtime on Thursday, May 18, 2017. After hitting her at full speed, the vehicle continued to drive down the sidewalk until it collided with several more people at 7th and 45th.

"People just got stunned", said Bruno Carvalho, a student at SUNY Albany.

The vehicle, which stopped at West 45th Street and Broadway, caught fire. "Everybody was just running, everybody was concerned for their lives".

The NYPD has now said 22 people are injured with four victims in critical state - all have been taken to area hospitals.

Police identify the driver of the auto as Richard Rojas, a Navy veteran from the Bronx.

The White House says that President Donald Trump has been "made aware" that a auto plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square and that he will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds.

Thursday's incident revived memories of July past year when a man driving a truck killed at least 84 people, 10 of them children, and injured 202 in the French city of Nice.

The two law enforcement officials say Rojas tested negative for alcohol, but drug tests were still pending.

Trump is holding a news conference at the White House later Thursday with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.

A Reuters witness said one person was covered with a bloodstained blanket after the collision, which occurred around noon at the Midtown Manhattan tourist venue.

The New York Police Department said the crash was likely a case of DWI, or driving while impaired, and not terrorism, CBS news reported.

A few blocks away from where the mayor spoke, the Honda sat tilted on bollards, its right wheels in the air and its front hood crumpled, as detectives and investigators canvassed the area.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism and the driv.

At 11:55 a.m., Rohas mounted the sidewalk on the west side of Seventh Avenue at West 42nd Street and drove north - against traffic on the one-way thoroughfare - for three blocks, O'Neill said.

Here's what we know so far about today's lunch-hour vehicle crash in Times Square.

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