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Times Square pedestrians hit: What we know and don’t know

NYPD officers at the scene after a car

NYPD officers at the scene after a car struck several pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square in Manhattan on Thursday, May 18, 2017. One person was killed and 22 were injured, the NYPD said. Photo Credit: Rex Features via AP

A speeding vehicle drove into Times Square on Thursday, striking multiple pedestrians on the West Side sidewalk on Seventh Avenue.

Here’s what we know as the story develops:


  • Alyssa Elsman, 18, of Portage, Michigan, was killed, police said. Her younger sister, Ava, 13, was injured in the crash.
  • Twenty-two victims were sent to the hospital. Four of the injuries were critical but not considered life-threatening, the FDNY commissioner said. The rest of the injuries were less serious. Injuries include pelvic fractures, internal bleeding, head injuries and broken teeth.
  • The driver, Rich Rojas, 26, of the Bronx, had two prior DWI arrests, police said.
  • Rojas tested negative for alcohol Thursday. Drug tests were pending.
  • Rojas hit 23 pedestrians between 42nd Street and 45th Street before his car crashed at the northwest corner of 45th Street, police said.
  • Rojas, a Navy veteran, also made incriminating statements, saying, “I wanted to kill them,” referring to the pedestrians, police sources said.
  • Rojas tried to flee after the crash, but was tackled by bystanders, including NYPD traffic agent Elfaki Abdelmagid and Planet Hollywood supervisor Kenya Bradix.
  • Police believe this was an isolated case and not connected to terrorism.
  • All Broadway shows will play as scheduled Thursday night but theatergoers are advised to allow additional travel time, according to the Broadway League.


  • What Rojas will be charged with.
  • Whether Rojas was under the influence of drugs.
  • What Rojas’ true motivation was.

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