Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Canadian injured in Times Square car attack in 'very critical' condition

Canadian injured in Times Square car attack in 'very critical' condition

The auto slammed into a crowd of pedestrians, killing one person and injuring a further 22.

Rojas was charged with second-degree murder, 20 counts of attempted murder, and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, according to a press release from the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

CCTV footage has emerged of the moment the former Navy officer drove "like a madman" the wrong way up Seventh Avenue, along the pavement for three blocks, killing 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman.

Richard Rojas is a a 26-year-old man from the Bronx.

He told police he had smoked marijuana laced with PCP, according to a criminal complaint.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism.

He has been arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated twice, losing his licence for 90 days in 2015, and was arrested for pointing a knife at a notary he accused of stealing his identity last week.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told WNYC Radio Friday that Rojas had "demonstrated mental health issues going back to childhood" that "went unaddressed even during the time he was in the USA military".

A man accused of deliberately running down pedestrians in Times Square has told police he was "hearing voices" during the rampage.

One of the hospitals treating the injured said four patients were in critical condition Thursday night. The serious injuries included pelvic fractures, internal bleeding and head injuries.

Before striking pedestrians, the 2009 Honda Accord was "out of control", an emergency management official said.

Witnesses said the motorist mounted the sidewalk in a burgundy Honda sedan and sped along more than three city blocks, knocking people over before the vehicle hit a pole and came to rest at 45th Street and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan.

Rojas, who lived with his mother in the Bronx, drove his auto Thursday from his home to Times Square, waited for traffic to start moving and then made a U-turn, authorities said.

Elsman, from Portage, Michigan, had visited Times Square before.

She continued: "I wouldn't be here now if I hadn't crossed the street".

The crash happened midday on a hot, clear day that brought large crowds of people into the streets to enjoy the good weather. "I was scared for my life". I saw a vehicle going through the pavement, taking people out, coming in my direction.

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Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, was standing outside the Levi store when he heard screaming, turned around and saw the vehicle hitting people on the sidewalk.

Lowe saw injured people, including a woman who "had tracks all over her body".

"I believe that we should look on the possibility" of closing the area to cars, Rodriguez said.

"And then when I turned around, I saw him (Mr Henry) under the auto".

"Because I was shooting, I didn't see him", Guerin told CNN.

"I felt so bad. standing there", not being able to do anything more to help, she said.

Annette Proehl, a Pennsylvania resident, was in Times Square with children on a field trip when she heard a screeching tires vehicle and people screaming.

Student Bruno Carvalho said the vehicle approached quickly and passed him on the footpath.

Proehl was hit by a piece of gravel but otherwise was not injured, she said.

"She was an incredible baker, and was very involved with our culinary program", Alburtus said. "We initially thought they were filming something".

The White House said President Donald Trump was informed of the situation in Times Square and would continue to be briefed as it unfolded.

Elsman was in NY with her sisters, mother and a friend, CNN affiliate WOOD reported.

Ms Elsman graduated a year ago from Portage Central High School.

Here's what you need to know.

The incident evoked recent terrorist attacks by vehicle in London, Nice and Berlin but NY mayor Bill de Blasio said there was "no indication" it was an act of terrorism.

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