People were being forced away from the scene.
He added that Rojas has never been the same after coming home from the Navy.
Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination in New York City. "I don't know if I'm going to sleep well tonight, from what I saw", he said.
Navy records show he spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013, but did not say why. Panicked passersby began running away from the center of Times Square, Ehab said, and he was eventually forced to move his food cart down the block by police. At least 22 others were injured.
He was arrested a year later at a naval base in Jacksonville, Florida, where officials said he attacked a cab driver, shouted "my life is over", and threatened to kill police, according to court records.More news: Texas man sues woman for texting in date
Police say Elsman's 13-year-old sister was among the people who were struck but survived.
The driver was in an inebriated state, the New York Times quoted a law enforcement official as saying.
It is reported that the result of his test for alcohol was negative.
The driver, Richard Rohas, 26, of the Bronx, was taken into custody at the scene, New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said at news conference about 90 minutes after the incident.
Jared Sabater was in Times Square and said he saw the vehicle racing at him but it crashed just short of him.More news: Trump Wants Michael Flynn Back in White House
He expressed sympathy for those injured and especially for the woman who was killed and her family.
Police do not suspect a link to terrorism but the White House said that President Donald Trump was "made aware" of what happened.
New York City law enforcement officials say at least one person was killed after a auto traveling through the popular tourist area drove into a crowd of pedestrians around lunchtime Thursday. "She was always trying to look out for other people as well as herself". Press secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that Trump was briefed before NY authorities confirmed the death.
The sidewalks in many parts of Times Square and surrounding blocks are lined with metal posts created to prevent cars from getting onto the sidewalks and other public areas.
The official told The Associated Press that the driver was taken into custody after the Thursday lunchtime crash and is being tested for alcohol. The auto leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.More news: 'Crypto' parasite outbreaks on the rise at pools, waterparks in Alabama, US
Broadway announced that shows would run as scheduled Thursday but urged theatergoers to allow extra time to arrive "due to an active investigation" in the Times Square area and road closures. "There is a lot of New Yorkers and tourists standing around really devastated and there's hundreds and hundreds of police officers", he told ABC.
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