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The hustle and bustle of Times Square, crowded by New Yorkers and tourists during the lunch hour on a hot and sunny day was shattered as a motorist crashed through pedestrians along the roadway and as they were crossing a crosswalk, causing the death of one and injuring at least 12 and as many as 23 pedestrians.
The mayhem began at 42nd Street and continued on for three blocks. The first victim he struck, an 18-year-old teen, died from her injuries.
The vehicle continued after crashing into the people on the street, and was only brought to a stop by the steel barricades that were put in place in response to vehicle attacks in Europe. The burgundy Honda crashed into the barricades, coming to rest on two wheels.
Police and responders were instantly on the scene as the vehicle burst into flames. That fire was quickly extinguished.
Many of the people in the throng of thousands came to the aid of the injured, assisting responders. The crowd, some curious and others panicked, moved both toward and away from the scene.
Enforcement quickly cordoned off the area as then tended to injured and conducted the on-scene investigation.
While police have taken the motorist into custody under suspicion of being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, K9 units and anti-terrorism squads began searching the area. The cordoned off area has been repeatedly expanded as units comb the area. Police say that the search of the area is being done in an abundance of caution.
The 26-year-old Bronx man, identified by NYPD as Richard Rojas, who, it is reported, has two prior DUI convictions is currently being questioned and tested for alcohol or drugs.