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

Several injured, 1 dead after speeding vehicle drives into Times Square

Several injured, 1 dead after speeding vehicle drives into Times Square

Patsy Sciutto, who works in Times Square, said she was meeting someone for lunch when an announcement came over a loudspeaker that the building was on lockdown because of an incident outside. Police do not suspect a.

An injured man is helped on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, May 18, 2017.

Several pedestrians have been injured by a speeding auto in New York City's Times Square.

Law enforcement sources told Eyewitness News 26-year-old Richard Rojas appeared extremely impaired after the crash.

He turned around and saw the vehicle hitting people on the sidewalk.

One of the hospitals treating the injured said four patients were in critical condition Thursday night. Sources also said police are trying to determine whether Rojas suffers from psychological problems, based on statements made at the time of his arrest.

Bystanders said people were "laying on the sidewalks" and that others were "screaming and running, the place is swarming with emergency vehicles and cops". "He didn't stop", said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming. He was swinging his arms at the same time, said Ken Bradix, a security supervisor at a nearby Planet Hollywood restaurant who tackled Rojas.

Initial tests have come back negative for alcohol but positive for drugs.

The report also specified that Rojas admitted he had "beaten the s-t out of that cab driver and I'll tell you why - he said I owe him $162".

The carnage raised immediate fears of terrorism, fueled by recent attacks in England, France and Germany in which vehicles plowed through crowds of pedestrians.

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the driver had two previous arrests for drink driving.

Rojas was most recently arrested on a menacing charge last week for allegedly pulling a knife on an acquaintance in the Bronx. He pleaded guilty to harassment, a violation, and was not sentenced to any prison time.

Fox News said one of its contacts at the New York Police Department (NYPD) told them the driver may have committed a robbery. He was an electrician's mate fireman apprentice.

Navy records show he spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013 but do not specify why. They do not indicate why. However, details of the case were not immediately available. The crash happened at midday on a hot, clear day that brought large crowds of people into the streets to enjoy the good weather.

A district spokesperson said that many students didn't know about what happened to Elsman when they got out of school.

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman told reporter DS Levi in an exclusive interview following the news conference, "I think what we need to learn - what we have learned from the Israeli government is how to protect our pedestrians".

Alyssa Elsman, of Portage, was hit on the sidewalk between West 42nd and 43rd streets just before noon.

She graduated from Portage Central High School.

Proehl was hit by a piece of gravel but otherwise was not injured, she said. "But if you could talk to her for a minute, you'd realise she was engaging. She was bright. She was amusing". The woman's 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

On Thursday evening, police were at an apartment where Rojas stayed with his mother in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx.

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