Friday, 17 August, 2018

See photos of the scene — Times Square crash

Francis Olson | 19 May, 2017, 15:58

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism and the driver was taken into custody to be tested for alcohol.

The first responders arrived quickly, the police commissioner said, and began treating the injured. The serious injuries included pelvic fractures, internal bleeding and head injuries.

Police identified the motorist as Navy veteran Richard Rojas, 26, of NY - he was taken into custody and was undergoing tests for alcohol and drugs, police commissioner James O'Neill said.

Photos taken at the scene appear to show that the 2009 Honda Accord crashed into barricades on one of the world's most famous streets leaving it lodged a few feet off the ground. Many were carted off on stretchers and four people were in critical condition but likely to survive, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said.

Pandemonium erupted when the vehicle barreled through the prime tourist location and came to rest with two of its wheels in the air.

"People were being hit and rolling off the auto", said Josh Duboff, an employee at the adjacent Thomson Reuters headquarters who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck. She bolted across the street.

The crash happened at midday on a hot, clear day that brought large crowds of people into the streets to enjoy the good weather.

On March 22, five people were killed in London and about 40 injured after a vehicle hit pedestrians and a suspected Islamist-inspired attacker stabbed a policeman near Britain's parliament.

Elizabeth Long of OH told CNN she was walking to the Hard Rock Cafe when she saw a maroon vehicle heading toward her on the sidewalk.

"I wasn't even all the way in when the auto sped by", perhaps 10 feet behind her, said Long, a 54-year-old who was in town to see a musical. She ran into a building and prayed, she said.

When Long went outside and looked in the direction the vehicle had gone, she saw at least six people lying on the ground, including a woman lying face-down with blood pouring from her head. "The screaming saved my life", Andrew, who is from Long Island, said. "Two of the people I saw that were really hurt".

US Navy moves second aircraft carrier near Pyongyang
While North Korea's arsenal of missiles is becoming clearer, there is less certainty about how developed its nuclear program is. South Korea's military officials said the reclusive North apparently stands ready to conduct another nuclear test.

A tourist from Argentina told CNN affiliate WABC that he was shocked to see the vehicle that "was like bowling, hitting people".

"I felt so bad. standing there", not being able to do anything more to help, she said. The auto then caught fire.

Proehl was hit by a piece of gravel but otherwise was not injured, she said.

"If you didn't know her, you might think she's reserved or shy", school principal Eric Alburtus said. "We initially thought they were filming something".

"There has been a very substantial increase of police officers who patrol Times Square in recent years" due to terrorism fears, de Blasio interjected.

She graduated from Portage Central High School. "Every interaction I had with her was positive", school principal Eric Alburtus told the Grand Rapids station. "He didn't stop. He just kept going", Lowe said.

The Department of Homeland Security also stated that it is in close contact with law enforcement officials in New York City about the incident.

The White House said President Donald Trump was informed of the situation in Times Square and would continue to be briefed as it unfolded.

Witnesses described a harrowing scene that started with screeching tires and ended with screams, chaos and a fiery crash at one of the world's most visited sites.

Helpless pedestrians had little time to react as the auto barreled down the sidewalk and through intersections before smashing into a row of steel security barriers installed in recent years to prevent vehicle attacks on the square where massive crowds gather every New Year's Eve.

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