Terrorism Not Suspected in Deadly Times Square Crash


Alyssa Elsman died on Thursday when a man drove his vehicle down the sidewalk for three blocks into the heart of New York City's theater district.

Police say a man steered his auto onto a sidewalk running through the heart of Times Square mowing down pedestrians for three blocks.

An 18-year-old woman killed by a vehicle that barrelled down a pavement in New York's Times Square was a tourist, police said.

Officers there told her there was an "unknown speeding auto", Sciutto said.

An 18-year-old woman was killed and 22 others injured, including the woman's 13-year-old sister, officials said.

Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them tourists from around the world, pass daily through Times Square, the heart of the Broadway theatre district.

Rojas, 26, who suffered from "psychological issues", told police he expected officers to shoot him, according to the source. Rojas was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in 2008 and 2015, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said, losing his license for 90 days.

A Navy official says Richard Rojas had been discharged as the result of a special court martial.

Rojas enlisted in 2011 and was an electrician's mate fireman apprentice. Details of the circumstances were not immediately available.

Witnesses at the crash said the wounded were "laying on the sidewalks" and others were "screaming and running", as The Washington Post reported. A bouncer at Planet Hollywood managed to tackle him to the ground, the Associated Press reported.

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Photographers snapped pictures of Rojas after he climbed from the wrecked vehicle and ran through the street before he was tackled by a group that included a ticket seller and a doorman at a nearby Planet Hollywood restaurant.

The motivation of Rojas is still unclear, but Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was "no indication that this was an act of terrorism".

According to the New York Times, the driver of the Accord that crashed into the crowd was on drugs. She graduated previous year from a high school in Portage, Michigan.

Elsman graduated a year ago from Portage Central High School.

Elsman was a kind, compassionate student known around the school for selling muffins she baked in a cooking class, Alburtus said.

"Alyssa was a really thoughtful, really bright, very pleasant young lady". "When you first got to know her, you would perceive that she was shy or quiet. She was bright. She was amusing". She also had a boyfriend. According to the Associated Press, Rojas told police he was "hearing voices". "She was the one person that brought my son joy".

One witness said the auto barreled down the sidewalk like a bowling ball, striking several people in its path, reports CBS News correspondent Jericka Duncan. "But if you could talk to her for a minute, you'd realize she was engaging".

Foreign ministry says the Consulate General of Malaysia in NY will continue to monitor the situation.

Niamh Mullan, who is from Belfast, was working on the 22nd floor of a building in Times Square when she heard the commotion below.

"My niece", Dusek said.