Car Rams Into Pedestrians in NYC’s Times Square, Killing at Least 1

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NEW YORK — A wrong-way driver plowed into pedestrians in the heart of Manhattan’s bustling Times Square district minutes before noon Thursday, killing at least one person and injuring nearly two dozen others, city officials said.

The high-speed 11:55 a.m. crash — which authorities initially said appeared accidental, and which is not believed related to international terrorism — left an 18-year-old woman dead at the scene and another 22 injured, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.

The driver of the 2009 Honda Accord, identified as 26-year-old Richard Rojas, was in custody and was charged late Thursday with second degree murder, 20 counts of attempted murder, and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, police said.

The Bronx native has a history of arrests for driving while intoxicated, as well as other infractions. Rojas was arrested for DWI in Queens in 2008 and earlier this month for menacing.

Police did not immediately release the cause of the crash. Two law enforcement sources say Rojas claims he heard voices and investigators are looking into the possibility it was a deliberate act.


Richard Rojas, the suspect charged in the fatal driving incident in Times Square Thursday, is seen in a 2012 booking photo in Jacksonville, Florida.