Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Times Square crash victim was 18-year-old Michigan woman

Times Square crash victim was 18-year-old Michigan woman

Richard Rojas, 26, the driver of the vehicle that killed one and injured 22 others in the busy New York Times Square on Thursday, was admitted to Bellevue Hospital Center for evaluation.

Police identified the woman as Alyssa Elsman, a resident of Portage, Michigan.

Rojas was arrested and will be tested for drugs and alcohol, police said. Television footage showed police officers restraining a man in a dark T-shirt and placing him in a police vehicle.

The 26-year-old driver from the Bronx was taken into custody and was undergoing tests for alcohol, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

City authorities were nevertheless deploying extra police from anti-terror units to key locations around the USA financial and cultural capital, home to 8.5 million, out of "an abundance of caution", the mayor said.

Broadway announced that shows would run as scheduled yesterday but urged theatergoers to allow extra time to arrive "due to an active investigation" in the Times Square area and road closures. Charges against the driver are pending.

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Four people have been critically injured but are expected to survive. Two were in serious condition.

Then, a traffic agent told Bradix to "get him", he said. Police said he had driven the wrong way at a high rate of speed up Seventh Avenue at 42nd Street on the sidewalk for three blocks. Everyone else started screaming.

One person is dead and more than 20 others have been injured after a vehicle was driven through Times Square in NY.

A woman who used to live in the building, Fati Razak, said she occasionally sees Rojas when she returns to visit her mother. She bolted across the street. "We saw people running and walked toward where they were running from and saw people on the ground. I was scared for my life".

Television images taken at the scene showed people being taken away on stretchers. Her sister, who was also struck by the vehicle, was taken to an area hospital for treatment. She heard screaming. Fearing the vehicle would hit her, she ran to a nearby building's revolving door.

"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. He said he looked out and saw what appeared to be a body in the street. "This hurts, this makes me feel bad this news", neighbor Jose Medrano said. "I don't know how I'm going to function without her ever again". On Thursday morning, he, at some point, chose to drive his auto into a crowd of innocent people in bustling midtown Manhattan. All of a sudden the vehicle caught on fire.

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Proehl was hit by a piece of gravel but otherwise was not injured, she said. "We initially thought they were filming something".

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

Elsman graduated a year ago from Portage Northern High School. "She was a terrific young lady. and we will really miss her", said Eric Alburtus, principal at Portage Central High School.

There was "no indication" it was an act of terrorism, Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference at the scene.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.

"People were being hit and rolling off the auto", witness Josh Duboff told Reuters, adding that he jumped out of the way to avoid being struck.

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