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

A driver ran over a group of pedestrians in New York City's Times Square on May 18. See video from the scene.                      Joseph Azam via Storyful

A driver ran over a group of pedestrians in New York City's Times Square on May 18. See video from the scene. Joseph Azam via Storyful

A speeding auto plowed into pedestrians on a sidewalk at the Times Square, New York killing one and injuring about 20 others.

The New York Post is reporting that Alyssa Elsman was killed in the Thursday, May 18 crash.

Police identified the driver as 26-year-old US citizen Richard Rojas, who had a history of arrests for driving while intoxicated. He was being tested for drugs and alcohol and charges against him were pending.

Rojas has been arrested twice in New York - in 2015 and 2008 - for drunken driving, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.

Police believe it was an isolated incident and New York Mayor Bill do Blasio said: "There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism".

He and Bradix jumped on top of Rojas, lifted his shirt to make sure he had no weapons and held him until police arrived moments later, Balde said.

The Fire Department confirmed one person had died and 19 people were hurt in the incident.

Before striking pedestrians, the 2009 Honda Accord was "out of control", an emergency management official said. Four people were critically injured but are expected to survive, officials said.

NEW YORK (AP) - A man accused of steering his vehicle onto one of the busiest sidewalks in the USA and mowing down pedestrians for three blocks before a row of steel security barriers finally stopped him told police he was "hearing voices", law enforcement officials said.

"He started coming right immediately, and people were yelling, and some moved out of the way right away, some people kind of got stuck on the auto as he was driving up, and I was able to jump away as he was coming close to me", one man said.

Bruno Carvalho, a student at SUNY Albany, said the auto approached quickly and passed him on the sidewalk. She bolted across the street.

"He didn't stop", said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming.

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Security camera footage showed the auto slam into pedestrians who moments earlier were ambling along, some carrying shopping bags and others pushing baby strollers. She heard screaming. Fearing the vehicle would hit her, she ran to a nearby building's revolving door.

Elsman's 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

When Long went outside and looked in the direction the vehicle had gone, she saw at least six people lying on the ground, including a woman lying face-down with blood pouring from her head.

"I'm shaken", said Long, who wasn't injured. I saw a gentleman underneath the auto and another gentleman was pulling him out and it was a real mess. "It seemed like it was trying to hit everybody", witness Annie Donahey told AFP. "I think he saved my life". She watched the vehicle slam into a steel divider and catch fire, she said.

"Gravel was flying everywhere", a victim said. "We initially thought they were filming something".

The White House said President Donald Trump was informed of the situation in Times Square and would continue to be briefed as it unfolded.

Elsman was in NY with her sisters, mother and a friend, CNN affiliate WOOD reported.

According to her Facebook page, she had attended Portage Central High School. "Every interaction I had with her was positive", school principal Eric Alburtus told the Grand Rapids station. 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 carnage happened in a part of the city that has always been considered a possible terrorist target because of its large crowds, a concern that became elevated after the September 11 attacks and compounded by recent attacks in England, France and Germany in which vehicles plowed through crowds of pedestrians.

Broadway shows were scheduled to go ahead as planned on Thursday evening in the many theatres in the area, organisers 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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