Car Driven Through Times Square Crowd Kills One, Injures 23
A speeding car plowed into pedestrians on a sidewalk in New York City’s busy Times Square on Thursday, killing one person and injuring a dozen, according to witnesses, and police said the incident did not appear to be an act of terrorism.
A Reuters witness said one person was covered with a bloodstained blanket after the collision, which occurred around noon ET (1600 GMT) at the Midtown Manhattan tourist venue.
The city’s said there were 23 people injured.
Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them tourists from around the world, pass daily through the bustling commercial area, the heart of the Broadway theater district.
Witnesses said the motorist was driving against traffic before his burgundy Honda sedan mounted the sidewalk and struck pedestrians.
The car hit a pole and came to rest at 45th Street and Broadway before police took the driver away.
Tal Heinrich, who works on the 6th floor of the Thomson Reuters building in Times Square, said, “We heard people screaming, just awful voices coming from the street. So I went straight downstairs and I arrived at the scene around five minutes after the car ramming took place and I started talking to eyewitnesses.
“When I came down I saw around seven people I think within my sight injured. Some of them had blood on their legs, on their arms.
“A mother was talking to her daughter trying to calm her down. She was grabbing her face and she told her, ‘we are fine, we are fine, we are fine, it happened but we are fine now.’ And then I saw the female, I think, unfortunately it seems that she’s dead, this body right here, behind this building.”
One woman was covered with a bloodstained blanket following the collision, which occurred close to noon ET (1600 GMT) at the Midtown Manhattan tourist venue, a Reuters witness said. Shoes were scattered at the scene.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters there was no indication it was an act of terrorism and that the driver had two previous arrests for drunk driving. Police identified the motorist as Richard Rojas, 26, of New York.
City officials said the dead woman was 18 years old.