Tags: times square | car | pedestrian

1 Dead, 23 Hurt as Car Rams Pedestrians in New York's Times Square

(Fox News)

By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 02:38 PM

An 18-year-old woman was killed and 23 injured when a speeding car jumped the sidewalk along New York's busy Times Square and began mowing down pedestrians in what may have been a drunk-driving accident.

Four of the victims were said to be in critical condition and the 13-year-old sister of the dead woman was said to be among the injured.

The New York City Police Department and city officials said the horrific midday smashup on Thursday afternoon did not appear to be terror related. But at least one eyewitness said the driver appeared to be steering into people.

Police identified the driver as Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx resident with a history of drunk driving arrests. In one, he was driving faster than 99 mph in a 50 mph zone, sources familiar with his record told NBC News.

Rojas was driving south on Seventh Avenue when he inexplicably made a U-turn onto the sidewalk at 42nd Street, law enforcement officials said. He then hit the gas and barreled up the sidewalk for three-and-a-half blocks as panicked, screaming pedestrians ran and dove for their lives.

 Moments later, the street was dotted with bloodied, mangled bodies.

The incident occurred just before 12 p.m. — the beginning of lunch hour during which thousands of city workers join throngs of tourists along the bustling Manhattan boulevard.

Suddenly, a maroon Honda Accord hopped the curb and began hitting people like bowling pins.

"It was total chaos, total shock," Kelly Graves, a tourist from Wisconsin, told the New York Daily News.

One eyewitness told CBS News: "Everybody was just running, everyone was concerned for their lives."

Another eyewitness, Michael Rickerby tweeted:

ABC News said it appeared the driver "made a wrong turn and drove in the wrong direction for three blocks, striking multiple pedestrians."

When he crashed, he attempted to flee on foot but was detained, sources told ABC, adding the man allegedly punched a police officer as they took him into custody. He was being tested for alcohol.

"I was in shock, I was screaming, Kristen Boyce told NBC News. “No one even saw it coming. All of a sudden I heard this boom and a car is barreling down Seventh Avenue hitting people, just, 'Boom! Boom!' And everyone just starts running … everyone is panicking."

A witness told NBC the driver may have been going as fast as 80 mph. The network said Rojas’ most recent arrest was earlier this month when he was charged with menacing.

The car involved was badly damaged with its right wheels off the ground, its front hood crumpled and driver’s door smashed. NBC said that the suspect’s most recent arrest was earlier this month when he was charged with menacing.

The identities of the dead pedestrian and the injured have not been released. They were rushed to nearby Bellevue and Saint Luke's Hospitals.

President Donald Trump "has been made aware of the situation in Times Square and will continue to receive updates," his spokesman Sean Spicer said on Twitter.

The identities of the dead pedestrian and the injured have not been released. They were rushed to nearby Bellevue and Saint Luke's Hospitals.

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An 18-year-old woman was killed and 23 injured when a speeding car jumped the sidewalk along New York's busy Times Square and began mowing down pedestrians in what may have been a drunk-driving accident.
times square, car, pedestrian
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2017-38-18
Thursday, 18 May 2017 02:38 PM
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