468x60 General & Logo

1 dead, 22 injured as car rams into pedestrians in Times Square

NEW YORK — A driver with a history of drunken driving arrests plowed through crowds of pedestrians on packed sidewalks along three Times Square blocks Thursday, killing one person and injuring 22 others, officials said, touching off mayhem in one of the world’s most famous and busiest plazas. The driver, Richard Rojas, 26, was taken into custody after a traffic agent tackled him as he fled from his car, a maroon Honda that came to a stop after ramming into stanchions at the corner of 45th Street and Broadway. The panic provoked by a car speeding on sidewalks in the heart of Manhattan immediately evoked the specter of terrorism, but law enforcement officials said they had determined that did not seem to have a role in the episode. A few blocks away from where the mayor spoke, the Honda sat tilted on bollards, its right wheels in the air and its front hood crumpled, as detectives and investigators canvassed the area. Officials said the deadly rampage had begun around noon near 42nd Street, when Rojas, traveling south on Seventh Avenue, inexplicably made a quick U-turn, mounted a curb on the west side of the one-way avenue, and began to drive north against traffic. Four other people were critically injured after sustaining multiple fractures and traumas, said Daniel Nigro, the fire commissioner.

Article by By Eli Rosenberg and William K. Rashbaum (c) Page One News - Read full story here.