Six people remain hospitalized, two in critical condition, three days after a Bronx man deliberately plowed his car into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square, leaving an 18-year-old tourist dead and nearly two dozen more injured, officials said Sunday.
Of the 13 patients received at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan on Thursday, seven have been discharged and six remain in the hospital, Bellevue spokeswoman Evelyn Hernández said Sunday. Two are in critical condition; four are in serious but stable condition, she said.
Rojas, a 26-year-old Navy veteran, remains jailed without bond on charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder, after he drove his maroon Honda Accord onto a sidewalk at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue just before noon Thursday, hitting pedestrians and speeding down the sidewalk for three blocks, NYPD Chief of Manhattan South Detectives William Aubry said at a news conference Friday.
Rojas allegedly told cops after he was taken into custody shortly after the crash, “I wanted to kill them,” according to court documents. The documents also said Rojas, described by investigators as having glassy eyes, slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet, told police he smoked marijuana laced with PCP.
In a jailhouse interview with the New York Post on Saturday, Rojas apologized for his alleged actions, but said he didn’t remember telling cops he wanted to kill innocent pedestrians.
“I just want to apologize to all the victims’ families,” Rojas told the Post.
Killed in the crash was Alyssa Elsman, 18, of Portage, Michigan.
Elsman was struck on Seventh Avenue between 42nd and 43rd streets and pronounced dead at the scene, police said. Her sister, Ava, 13, suffered a collapsed lung and a broken pelvis, police said.
The sisters were on vacation with their family, police said. On Friday, people left flowers, photographs of Elsman and a stuffed teddy bear near the spot where she died.
A GoFundMe page set up by the Elsman family to help pay for Ava Elsman’s medical bills had raised nearly $11,000 as of Sunday.