One dead, 22 hurt after being struck by car in Times Square

A car hit pedestrians in Times Square on Thursday, killing one person and injuring 22 others. 

NEW YORK — Several people were struck by a car in Times Square Thursday morning and at least one person was killed. At least 22 people were hurt, according to FDNY.

The maroon Honda jumped the curb and plowed through the crowd at 7th Avenue and 42nd Street. It came to rest on two wheels, wedged up against a pole and other barriers. 

Police said Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old man from the Bronx, was taken into custody and was being given a breathalyzer test. 

Rojas, 26, is a Bronx resident, U.S. citizen and Navy veteran, the mayor said. NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said Rojas had two prior DUI arrests.

"There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "It's a tough day for New York City."

Photos: Car crashes in Times Square

The victim who died has been identified as Alyssa Elsman, an 18-year-old tourist from Michigan.

Brooklyn resident Asa Lowe was standing outside the Levi's store enjoying the weather when he heard screaming. He turned around and saw the car hitting people on the sidewalk.  

He says the driver was "just mowing down people. He didn't stop."  

Lowe says the driver then got out of his car and started running until people tackled him. Lowe saw injured people, including a woman who "had tracks all over her body." 

Tourists Patrick and Kelly Graves of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, were waiting to get on a tour bus when they heard the crash.

Kelly Graves said she feared the worst, maybe a bomb, as "chaos" erupted and people began running. People rushed to help the injured, who were lying on the sidewalk.


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. Press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before New York authorities confirmed the death.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, along with police and city officials, were at the scene of the crash.

The sidewalks in many parts of Times Square and surrounding blocks are lined with metal posts designed to prevent cars from getting onto the sidewalks and other public areas.

That network of barricades, though, is far from a complete defense. There are many areas where vehicles could be driven onto packed sidewalks or public plazas.

Times Square also has a heavy police presence at all hours of the day and night.

 

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