Speeding vehicle strikes pedestrians in New York City's Times Square

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Photo taken on May 18, 2017 shows the scene of a auto crash incident at Times Square in New York City, the United States.

Initial tests came back negative for alcohol, according to law enforcement sources.

Amid the havoc, there was at least one affirming moment, as recounted by a pregnant 38-year-old teacher from Baltimore who would only give her last name, Martin.

Police identified the woman killed as 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman, who was on holiday with her family from Portage, Michigan. Rojas was taken into custody. They are awaiting further blood tests results for multiple drugs, including PCP.

A bouncer from the Planet Hollywood restaurant and a ticket agent were among onlookers who helped police subdue the suspect when he tried to flee the scene, media reports said. He also made threats to kill all police and military police he might see when he got released from jail, the report said.

The city's fire department said there were 13 casualties.

Broadway shows would go ahead as planned on Thursday evening in the many local theaters, organizers said in a statement.

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"There were a lot of people out, enjoying the good day, and then I heard screaming and the vehicle running over bodies", she said. Video shows the moment of impact when the vehicle stuck a metal pole: An 18-year-old tourist from MI died at the scene, officials said. Police do not suspect a link to terrorism and the driv. The auto crashed into a pole and came to rest at 45th Street and Broadway before police took the driver away.

The man who appeared to be intoxicated steered his auto onto a sidewalk running through the heart of Times Square on Thursday and mowed down pedestrians for three blocks, before he was tackled by bystanders, authorities said.

Thursday's mayhem began at noon 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.

In previous arrests, Rojas told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, officials said. He pleaded guilty and said he was aiming to avenge deaths from USA missiles fired from drones operating over Pakistan.

The mayor sad popular sites in New York City will be getting increased security as a precaution after today's incident. However, details of the case were not immediately available. An attempted car-bomb attack in Times Square in 2010 remains a potent memory for many, and recent terrorist attacks overseas have shown the damage that vehicles can do when used as weapons. "You are going to have to be strong now", de Blasio was heard telling family members. "I don't think there was actually time for screaming". "Today's events at Times Square were nothing short of horrific", he said in a statement.

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