NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - One woman is dead and 22 other people hurt, 4 with critical injuries, after a car speeding in the wrong direction on 7th Avenue in busy Times Square jumped onto a sidewalk and drove for three blocks plowing into pedestrians. It crashed and caught fire. Pedestrians chased and captured the driver as he tried to run away from the scene. The incident happened just before noon on a hot, clear day that had brought crowds of tourists and Manhattan workers into the area.
The out-of-control car crashed into a sidewalk on Thursday morning. It happened at Broadway and W. 45th. The maroon Honda sedan was left on top of a pole at the intersection after the incident.
A witness says people were screaming as the car ran into people. She says several people were run over. Other people started running in the chaos.
The Associated Press reported that police did not suspect a link to terrorism in connection with the incident but the White House says that President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of the incident.
Jared Sabater says he and a group of about 5 other people chased the driver after he jumped out of the car. They tackled and restrained him until police were able to arrest him.
26-year-old Richard Rojas, from the Bronx, was being tested for alcohol after the NYPD took him into custody. Fox News reported that Rojas has had two prior driving while intoxicated incidents. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says Rojas is a U.S. citizen and former member of the United States Navy.
Police had backed up crowds from the area had removed several items from Rojas' vehicle as part of the investigation.
7th Avenue was closed in both directions between W. 42nd St. and W. 57th Streets. Several other streets in the normally busy area were also closed.
-West 42nd Street is closed from 1st Avenue to 9th Avenue in both directions
- West 43rd-49th Streets are closed from 6th Avenue to 8th Avenue in both directions
- The 23rd Street exit is closed on the northbound FDR Drive
- The 42nd Street exit is closed in both directions on the FDR Drive
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was also at the scene. Police asked people to avoid Times Square because the emergency activity.
What's happening in Times Square?? This car was in the sidewalk and people are on the streets pic.twitter.com/PsepRtfrAr
People are laying on the sidewalks in Times Square, a car seems to have run on the sidewalk. pic.twitter.com/g2efKLfoX8
Due to a vehicle collision with pedestrian injuries, emergency vehicles are in the area of #TimesSquare. Expect delays in the area.