Vehicle drives wrong way in Times Square and hits crowds; 1 dead

Vehicle drives wrong way in Times Square and hits crowds; 1 dead

At an afternoon press conference, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill identified the driver as Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Bronx resident.

The two law enforcement officials say Rojas tested negative for alcohol, but drug tests were still pending. The NYPD tweeted at this point there is no indication that the crash is related to terrorism and the incident is believed to be isolated.

The FBI began to investigate the incident in the tourist venue, however there have been no links to terror organizations thus far.

NY mayor Bill de Blasio said: "Based on the information we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism".

Times Square was the scene of the most serious security alert in America's most populous city since the September 11, 2001 attacks when Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant, planted a vehicle bomb at the intersection on May 1, 2010.

"We were just touring, seeing how handsome Times Square was", Prasad said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo described the scene as "nothing short of horrific".

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said US President Donald Trump "has been made aware" of the incident. In December, a truck had plowed into a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring about 50.

Famous across the world for its bright lights and advertising billboards, Times Square - in the heart of Midtown Manhattan - is typically packed with tourists and office workers.

After the auto struck a barricade and stopped, the driver climbed out of his vehicle, Lowe said. Video posted online showed steam or smoke pouring from the auto for a few moments after it stopped moving.

"He just started running until people tackled him down", Lowe said.

"Preliminary investigation reveals that Rojas has a few arrests and two of them are for DWI (driving while impaired)", the commissioner said.

Police say Elsman's 13-year-old sister was among the people who were struck but survived. He turned around and saw the vehicle hitting people on the sidewalk. "Out of an abundance of caution major sites in this city will get additional police coverage from our anti-terror units". He was combative with officers who handcuffed him, authorities said.

Kenya Bradix, 47, a supervisor at Planet Hollywood, said he was walking back to the restaurant on 45th Street, when he heard screams and saw Rojas' vehicle driving along the sidewalk on the west side of 7th Avenue, heading against traffic.

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