Several injured, 1 dead after speeding vehicle drives into Times Square

Speeding vehicle crashes into pedestrians in New York's Times Square

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

That's when Planet Hollywood employee Kenya Brandix spotted the driver fleeing from the vehicle.

Social media images show injured people on the street, a vehicle upended at an angle and crowds gathered in the heart of the tourist hub.

ABC News cited unidentified police sources as saying Rojas had apparently been high on synthetic marijuana. Details were not immediately available. Police said the woman's 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

Rojas enlisted in the Navy in 2011. He served as an electrician's mate fireman apprentice, mostly based in Florida.

Navy records show that in 2013 he spent two months at a naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina. They do not indicate why.

A smashed auto sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians at lunchtime on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Live traffic cameras showed a enormous emergency response in the area; at least five fire trucks cordoned off the intersection immediately near the scene and a line of police cruises, alarms and lights blaring, blocked off traffic near the TKTS booth.

Twenty three people were struck by the vehicle before it was stopped by a security barrier.

Elsman's 13-year-old sister was also struck by the vehicle, but survived, police said.

Police identify the driver of the auto as Richard Rojas, a Navy veteran from the Bronx.

Authorities have also ruled out terrorism in connection with the crime.

"He's easily, probably going over 40 (mph)", Rivera said.

There is no indication the incident, which unfolded just before noon, was an act of terrorism, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials said. Harrison Ramos said Rojas was not the same when he came back from active duty in 2014. The officials said Rojas told officers he had been hearing voices.

Other friends say he was having money troubles. At least one person has died and several are injured. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.

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The officials said Rojas told officers he had been hearing voices.

A picture has emerged of Rojas from neighbours and authorities as a man with problems.

The driver was taken into custody and later identified by the city's police commissioner as Richard Rojas, a native of the Bronx area of NY and veteran of the Navy.

Helpless pedestrians had little time to react as the vehicle 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. He was in custody, and it wasn't clear if he had an attorney yet who could comment on his behalf.

Witnesses said the driver was speeding, seemed to be aiming for pedestrians, appeared to be angry and was yelling. The auto leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

He says the driver was "just mowing down people".

After the auto struck a barricade and stopped, the driver climbed out of his vehicle.

He said he saw about five people who looked gravely injured - "people, really bad, in front of us".

The White House says that President Donald Trump has been "made aware" that a auto plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square and that he will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds. President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, was made aware of the incident nearly immediately and given updates, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

The White House said US President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of what has happened.

A smashed vehicle sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians at lunchtime on Thursday, May 18, 2017. The driver was taken into custody and being tested for alcohol.

A witness told Reuters news agency they saw seven people being loaded onto stretchers, shoes scattered around the scene and one person covered in a bloodstained blanket.

"The Honda eventually came to a stop on the northwest corner of West 45th Street, where it collided with a metal stanchion".

A auto traveling through Times Square has driven into a crowd of pedestrians, injuring several people.

"This is a tough day for New York City, but I want to thank our first responders who got here so quickly".

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