Teenage girl killed, 23 hurt in Times Square crash

NEW YORK CITY — A teenage girl was killed and at least 23 others injured Thursday when a speeding car plowed into pedestrians in Manhattan's bustling Times Square, city officials said.

The driver of the 2009 Honda Accord is in custody, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. The motorist, 26-year-old Richard Rojas of the Bronx, has been arrested twice in the past for drunken driving, he said.

The incident, which unfolded just before noon, is being investigated as an accident, a police official said. There is no indication it was an act of terrorism, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city leaders said.

Before striking pedestrians, the car was "out of control," an emergency management official said. Witnesses on social media described a speeding car plowing into people before crashing to a halt.

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

Witness video shows the driver being taken into custody following the deadly crash. Police are working to determine whether the man was driving under the influence, sources told PIX11.

The incident is being investigated as an accident, a New York police official said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio rushed to the scene. President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, is aware of the incident and will be updated, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.

Patsy Sciutto, who works in Times Square, said she was meeting someone for lunch when an announcement came over a loudspeaker that the building was on lockdown because of an incident outside.

Officers there told her there was an "unknown speeding car," Sciutto said.

Times Square averaged about 360,000 daily visitors in April, according to a tally by the Times Square Alliance, making it one of the most visited locations in the world.

 

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