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One dead as car hits pedestrians in New York's Times Square

19 May 2017

Richard Rojas, 26, a US Navy veteran with a history of driving while intoxicated, was arrested and is being tested for alcohol, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said. The maroon-colored Honda sedan came to rest with two of its wheels in the air, leaning on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.

"Out of an abundance of caution", Mayor Bill de Blasio added.

There was no immediate word from New York City police on the number of people who were hurt.

The suspect is Richard Rojas is USA citizen and is a veteran. The driver has two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated as well as other motor vehicle violations, sources said.

The driver was then tackled by police officers, the witness said.

Police and fire officials have blocked off the street three blocks in every direction from the incident.

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

The crash took place shortly before noon.

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

Bicycle courier Julio Sanchez Rivera, 20, told USA TODAY he was making his first delivery of the day when he heard a vehicle engine revving. He turned in time to see the vehicle roaring up the street.

"He didn't stop. He just kept going".

The aftermath was "pretty gory", the Queens resident said.

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Lowe saw injured people, including a woman who "had tracks all over her body". There were clothes, there were shoes everywhere.

Thoughts and prayers to loved ones and neighbors in the theatre district in light of this morning's auto crash.

The stainless steel bollards finally stopped the auto and the madness.

The carnage raised immediate fears of terrorism, fueled by recent attacks in England, France and Germany in which vehicles plowed through crowds of pedestrians.

Thursday was the hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching a record of 91 degrees.

Times Square is typically packed with tourists and office workers. But an uncle was struck on the head by a pole dislodged by the vehicle, relatives said as they left the hospital where he was being treated. She ran into a building and prayed, she said.

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The crash occurred during lunchtime here with hundreds of thousands of people on the street.