Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Everything you need to know about the Times Square vehicle crash

Rojas returned from his Navy service with a drinking problem and had posted "crazy stuff" on social media, said a friend, Harrison Ramos, speaking to Reuters outside the apartment building where Rojas lives in New York City's Bronx borough.

A man who appeared intoxicated drove his auto the wrong way up a Times Square street Thursday and plowed into pedestrians on the sidewalk, killing one and injuring about 20 others, authorities and witnesses said. Elsman was with her 13-year-old sister, who was injured in the crash.

Elsman graduated past year from Portage Central High School.

Kelly Graves said she feared the worst, maybe a bomb, as "chaos" erupted and people began running.

Tributes, hearts and prayers are being offered for a teen from Portage, Michigan who was killed Thursday in New York's Times Square by a rogue driver.

The auto came to rest with its two right wheels in the air as Rojas got out of the vehicle and attempted to run away.

A quick-acting restaurant worker played a key role in stopping a fleeing driver who mowed down pedestrians on a Times Square sidewalk. Rojas, was taken into custody and was undergoing tests for alcohol and drugs.

The 26-year-old US Navy veteran told officers he was hearing voices and expected to die, two police officials said. Police said he was apparently high on synthetic marijuana.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig). A smashed vehicle 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. He pleaded guilty to an infraction in 2015 and was ordered to complete a drunken driving program and lost his license for 90 days.

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A week ago he was arrested and charged with pointing a knife at a notary, whom he accused of stealing his identity. The case is pending. Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011 and was an electrician's mate fireman apprentice, according to the Navy. He was most recently based at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and was discharged in 2014. Details were not immediately available.

The woman who died was 18 years old.

Within moments of the incident, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio rushed to the scene.

The burgundy Honda sedan jumped the kerb at 45th Street and Broadway at 11:55 local time (15:55 GMT) and drove at high speed for three blocks before crashing into a pole.

Authorities said that preliminary information showed no terror connection. Bruno Carvalho, a student at SUNY Albany, said the vehicle approached quickly and passed him on the sidewalk. "I don't think there was actually time for screaming".

He said there were quite a few people who are still in shock at the scene and other people in the area who are not aware of what happened.

But according to the original September 23, 2012, arrest report, Rojas was arrested on Wonderwood Drive after a short chase, telling the officer "I beat the s - - out of that cab driver and I'll tell you why, he said I owed him $162". Ken Bradix, a door host supervisor at Planet Hollywood, struck him to get him to stop, Balde said.

Alyssa Elsman, 18, was among the pedestrians struck when a man drove the wrong way and onto a sidewalk for at least three blocks, mowing down pedestrians. President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, was made aware of the incident nearly immediately and given updates, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted. More than 20 others were injured.

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