Updates throughout, with police & mayor statements New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has set the Times Square injury count at 23, including the fatality of a young woman. He said the driver, identified as Richard Rojas of the Bronx, is a U.S. citizen and former member of the armed forces, that there is no indication of terrorism but that New York will beef up security at various locations out of “an abundance of caution.”
None of the 22 injuries appears to be life-threatening, though at four are critical. The fatality was identified as an 18-year-old female, whose 13-year-old sister also was injured.
Police say Rojas was driving with traffic on Seventh Avenue before making a U-turn and heading north, against traffic, for three blocks on the sidewalk.
Previous New York police confirm that one man is in custody and that the Times Square collision is “believed to be an isolated incident.” See the NYPD’s tweet below.
One person is dead and 22 people injured after a car struck multiple pedestrians in New York’s Times Square area at 11:54 am ET. Local news reports say the incident happened on Seventh Avenue near 45th Street, and the now closed-off scene encompasses blocks around 42nd Street and Broadway to 46th Street and Seventh Avenue.
The major cable news channels broke into usual programming to cover the incident, as did local stations.
The NYPD says the crash “remains under investigation” but “is believed to be an isolated incident.”
One male in custody in the #TimesSquare vehicle collision.
It is believed to be an isolated incident, it remains under investigation.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 18, 2017
The area was subsequently closed to traffic. News footage showed a red, smoking Honda Accord leaning on its side apparently after crashing into steel barriers and a post at 45th Street, and reports indicated the driver has been extricated from the car. Local news footage showed the man being hauled away by police.
The NYPD says Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx man, has been arrested, and at this point terrorism is not considered a motive. The driver was handcuffed and arrested and taken by police from the scene. Buildings in the vicinity are on lockdown.
Police say the driver has a record of two prior DWIs, among other arrests, and is being tested for drugs and alcohol. A news conference is upcoming, with Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio heading to the scene.
An eyewitness told ABC’s local channel that the driver seemed to head intentionally into the crowd after driving against traffic, though that interpretation is unconfirmed by police. Another witness said the driver was shirtless, and attempted to flee on foot before being caught by police.
The news of the incident spread among attendees at the CW upfront presentation at the New York City Center, about 10 blocks north of Times Square, with emergency vehicles speeding down Sixth Avenue.