Woman killed, 22 injured after car plows into pedestrians in Times Square; no indication of terrorism

A driver plowed into a crowd in New York’s Times Square midday Thursday, killing an 18-year-old woman and injuring 22 others, police said.

The motorist, a Navy veteran, tried to flee the scene, according to police, but was tackled by a traffic agent.

There is no indication of terrorism based on information at this time, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Police said the driver is in custody and this is believed to be an isolated incident.

A witness told ABC station WABC the scene was total “chaos” and “everybody was trying to help.”

An image posted to Twitter by Josh Silverman shows the scene of a motor vehicle accident in the Times Square neighborhood of New York, May 18, 2017.

Police said the car, a 2009 Honda Accord, struck 23 pedestrians and 22 people were taken to nearby hospitals, including the 13-year-old sister of the deceased victim. Officials said four people are in critical condition, three others suffered serious injuries and the other 15 people have less serious injuries.

Seth Wenig/AP Photo
A smashed car sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York’s Times Square after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians, May 18, 2017.
Gary He/EPA
Emergency workers work at the scene after a vehicle struck numerous pedestrians in Times Square in New York, May 18, 2017.

The driver was identified by police as Richard Rojas, 26, of the Bronx. At 11:55 a.m. he was driving south on 7th Avenue when he made a quick U-turn onto a sidewalk at 42nd Street and sped along the sidewalk for three-and-a-half blocks, striking multiple pedestrians until crashing at 45th Street, according to law enforcement.

After Rojas crashed, he fled the car but was detained by police and civilians, police said. He allegedly punched a police officer as they took him into custody, sources said.

Mike Segar/Reuters
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.
Mike Segar/Reuters
A woman attends to an injured man on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk in New York City, May 18, 2017.

Rojas has had multiple arrests, including two for driving while intoxicated, police said.

Investigators are reviewing Rojas’ criminal history and are in the process of interviewing him.

A witness told WABC that the driver got out of the car after the crash and ran across the street. The driver was then tackled by police officers, the witness said.

First responders work at the scene in Times Square where a car struck several pedestrian, May 18, 2017, in New York.
Jeremy Schultz/Reuters
First responders are assisting injured pedestrians after a vehicle struck pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in New York, May 18, 2017.

Another witness told WABC a driver drove onto the sidewalk and drove over multiple people.

The car appeared to catch fire after crashing.

The mayor said major sites in city will…

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