Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Witnesses watch Times Square car crash in horror

Witnesses watch Times Square car crash in horror

"Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism", de Blasio said at a press conference at W. 42nd St. and Broadway.

After the accident drove the ill-fated auto 26-year-old Richard Rojas tried to escape, but was arrested.

Initially, there were fears the incident had been a terrorist attack but investigators discounted that and are focusing on Rojas's sobriety and mental health.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said 22 more people were injured in the collision, including Elsman's 13-year-old sister.

Two officials told The New York Post that Mr Rojas had tested negative for alcohol, but one official said that preliminary tests indicated he was under the influence of PCP, or angel dust, a mood-altering drug. Panicked passersby began running away from the center of Times Square, Ehab said, and he was eventually forced to move his food cart down the block by police.

He added that Rojas has never been the same after coming home from the Navy.

A Planet Hollywood door supervisor tackled the driver who plowed into pedestrians in Times Square Thursday and helped hold him, he told ABC News. Twenty-two other people were injured in the incident.

One official says Rojas told authorities when arrested previously that he believed he was being followed. He also said "It is a tough day for New York City but as usual the people of New York City will stand firm and will be resilient" before terming the accident as "horrific".

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"He didn't stop", said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming. "While I guess they were still trying to catch him", said Carl Gill of Scotrun.

"The auto was driving at 80 or 85 m/h against traffic, and it came here, I said 'stop! stop! stop!' but it didn't", Abdul Hamid, owner of a food cart at the corner of Broadway and W45W street, told Xinhua. We feel deeply for those injured and particularly for the family of the young woman who was lost.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism but the White House said that President Donald Trump was "made aware" of what happened.

Consulate General of China in NY said in a statement that its officials had asked hospital authorities to provide injured pedestrians' information, adding that so far no Chinese nationals had been reportedly injured in the auto incident. The auto leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

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

Emergency vehicles and police officers flooded the area. Images from Times Square showed several casualties strewn across the pavement.

A pipe bomb exploded last September in New York's Chelsea neighborhood, lightly wounding 31 people in the last terror-related incident in NY.

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