Fire and also emergency crews might be viewed attending to victim at the crash website at the intersection of 42nd Street and 7th Avenue.

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A wrecked vehicle is viewed at 45th Street and Broadway in time Square after a automobile struck multiple human being on may 18, 2017.Drew Angerer / Getty Images
NEW YORK — A wrong-way driver plowed into pedestrians in the love of Manhattan"s bustling time Square ar minutes prior to noon Thursday, death at the very least one person and also injuring nearly two dozen others, city public official said.

The high-speed 11:55 a.m. Crash — i beg your pardon authorities originally said appeared accidental, and which is not believed related to international terrorism — left an 18-year-old mrs dead at the scene and also another 22 civilization injured, public official said.

The driver of the 2009 Honda Accord, determined as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, remained in custody and also was charged late Thursday with second-degree murder, 20 counts of test murder and five counts of aggravated automotive homicide, police said.

The Bronx native has a background of arrests because that driving when intoxicated, and other infractions. Rojas was arrested for DWI twice before, police said.

Officials did not automatically release the cause of the crash. Two legislation enforcement sources say Rojas insurance claims he heard voices and investigators are looking right into the possibility it was a intended act.

Richard Rojas, the doubt charged in the deadly driving event in times Square Thursday, is viewed in a 2012 booking picture in Jacksonville, Florida.Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

"I remained in shock, ns was screaming," witness Kristen Boyce said NBC brand-new York. "No one also saw it coming."

"All of a sudden ns heard this boom and also a car is barreling down Seventh avenue hitting people, just, "Boom! Boom!" and also everyone simply starts running," she said. "We start running, we don"t understand if another one is going to come, us don’t recognize what"s happening, everyone is panicking."

Police stated an officer tackled Rojas at the step after that climbed out of the car, which might be seen partially lifted off the ground. The doubt was gift tested for feasible drug or alcohol intoxication.

Fire and also emergency crews surrounding the chaotic crash site in time Square, i m sorry is commonly swamped by tourists and also office workers. The car was traveling in the dorn direction top top the sidewalk for around three blocks prior to the crash occurred, police and witnesses said.

The Honda an initial mounted the sidewalk in ~ 7th Avenue and W. 42nd Street, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said. That stopped once it struck a metal stanchion.

A man identified as alleged driver Richard Rojas is viewed after a vehicle drove top top the sidewalk in brand-new York's time Square, killing one person and injuring 22 rather on may 18, 2017.Charles Guerin / Bestimage / BACKGRID

"The vehicle, lived in by a male driver, conduct to journey at a high rate of rate along the sidewalk, from 42nd Street to 45th Street, highlight a number of pedestrians along the way," O’Neill said.

The human who was eliminated was determined by police as 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan. The deceased victim"s 13-year-old sisters was amongst the injured and was taken to the hospital, police said.

The driver "accelerated across at one angle, went increase on the curb and also hit that totality group of human being waiting," angry Julie Fallo, 47, of new Jersey, said NBC News.

Of the 22 injured, 17 were taken to area hospitals, with four of those enduring what were defined as major injuries, the Fire department said. Five people who to be hurt declined medical fist at the scene.

A countryside Security official in Washington also told NBC News that based on the preliminary info from authorities in new York this "appears to it is in an accident."

"It"s a difficult day for brand-new York City, but as usual, the world in brand-new York City will certainly stand firm and be resilient," brand-new York City mayor Bill de Blasio said reporters.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was briefed in ~ the scene. "Today’s events at times Square were nothing quick of horrific," he claimed in a statement.

White residence Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted the President Donald Trump was "made aware of the situation."

Alyssa Elsman, 18, of Portage, Michigan, is seen in this Instagram photo. She was eliminated when a driver struck numerous pedestrians in times Square on may 18, 2017.Instagram

Rojas remained in the Navy, the military confirmed. The enlisted in 2011, and also was his business ended in 2014. A legislation enforcement resource said he to be arrested in Florida ~ above a steering under the affect charges, and was dishonorably discharged from the Navy.

Reports of the confusion and also pandemonium initially raised fears of terrorism.

Federal officials have actually been warning truck owners and truck rental agencies in the U.S. To be "vigilant" around an enhancing frequency that terrorist-related "ramming attacks," NBC News reported previously this month.

The frequency of such incidents appears to coincide with an ISIS leader telling followers in 2014 to use whatever weapons or tools, including vehicles, they have at their disposal for an attack.

The commonwealth report found that at the very least 173 world have been killed and more than 700 hurt in 17 ramming attacks around the world. Those incorporate incidents in Nice, France, whereby dozens were eliminated last July, and in Berlin, wherein a dozen civilization were killed in December.

A wrecked car is seen at 45th Street and also Broadway in time Square ~ a automobile struck multiple people on may 18, 2017.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Tom Winter is a new York-based correspondent extending crime, courts, terrorism and also financial fraud ~ above the East shore for the NBC News Investigative Unit.

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Jonathan Dienst is a reporter because that WNBC-TV in new York, leading its investigative reporting team and covering justice and also law enforcement issues.