Dead After Car Slams Into New York Pedestrians

Police lights

Police lights

A vehicle rests on a security barrier in New York's Times Square after driving through a crowd of pedestrians, injuring at least a dozen people, Thursday, May 18, 2017.

According to ABC News, law enforcement sources said that Richard Rojas is believed to have smoked the synthetic marijuana drug K2 before the deadly crash, which caused almost two dozen injuries in addition to the fatality.

18-year-old Alyssa Elsman has been identified as the incident's one fatality.

A man who drove a vehicle along three blocks of pavement in New York's Times Square, killing a teenager and injuring 22 people, said he had "heard voices", according to law enforcement sources.

Rojas was being tested for alcohol and drugs, authorities said.

In addition to the murder charge, Rojas also faces 20 counts of attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, according to a press release from the New York City Police Department.

Juan Soto, who is on a business trip to NY from his home in Chicago, told Sky News: "I came upon the scene - a gruesome scene with multiple victims on the sidewalk and the street".

"People were being hit and rolling off the vehicle", said Josh Duboff, an employee at the adjacent Thomson Reuters headquarters who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck.

Rogas, the driver, is a Navy veteran.

"He's just mowing down people", said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming.

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Along the way, 23 pedestrians were struck, police said. In March, senior Dante Latora was killed in a auto crash.

The incident does not appear to be linked to terrorism and is being investigated as an accident, according to New York City police, who are working with the FBI to investigate. It was stopped after crashing into a pole on 45th Street and Broadway, where it lied with two of its wheels in the air.

Several pedestrians have been injured by a speeding auto in New York City's Times Square.

Elsman also has a 16-year-old brother, the relative says, but he is believed not to have been at the scene.

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

He had been dishonourably discharged, and arrested twice for driving while intoxicated. Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized American and Taliban-trained militant, later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment. He wasn't immediately available to comment.

The vehicle ended up on its side in one of the world's most popular tourist attractions.

He has a criminal record, said Mr de Blasio. "I don't think there was actually time for screaming".

The White House said President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of the situation in Times Square and will continue to receive updates as the situation unfolds.

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