Speeding vehicle crashes into pedestrians in New York′s Times Square | News | DW | 18.05.2017
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Speeding vehicle crashes into pedestrians in New York's Times Square

A vehicle jumped the curb in New York City's famed Times Square, killing at least one person. More than 20 others were injured in what authorities have said does not appear to be a terror-related incident.

Watch video 01:02

A speeding car rammed pedestrians in New York

The New York City Police Department on Thursday quickly closed off 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan after a man drove his car onto the sidewalk, striking a group of pedestrians and killing at least one person, an 18-year-old woman. Authorities said they did not believe it was a terrorist attack.

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that more than 20 people had been injured in addition to the fatality.

However, he aimed to temper fears that this was another attack in the vein of those that recently occurred in London, Berlin and Nice. "Based on the information that we have at this moment, there is no indication that this was an act of terrorism," de Blasio said at a news conference.

US New York - Auto rast in Fußgänger - Time Square - Bill de Blasio (Getty Images/AFP/E. M. Alvarez)

Mayor de Blasio at a press conference after the incident

Nonetheless, anti-terror units were deployed to the scene out of precaution.

The accident occurred near the headquarters of Reuters news agency in bustling Times Square, where a reporter for the news organization tweeted that the building was currently on lockdown.

The driver was taken into custody and later identified by the city's police commissioner as Richard Rojas, a native of the Bronx area of New York and veteran of the Navy. Officials said he had been arrested for drunk driving twice previously - once in 2008 and once in 2015.

Witnesses said Rojas drove the wrong way on the street before careering onto the sidewalk, where he drove for at least three blocks. They said he appeared to be intoxicated. After the car he stopped, he reportedly climbed out and took off running.

"He just started running until people tackled him down," one witness told the Associated Press. "Citizens just reacted."

Rojas is currently being transported to a facility where he will undergo testing for drugs and alcohol.

Earlier, someone tweeted a photo of the moment the car jumped the curb.

Watch video 01:14

Speeding car rams into pedestrians in NY: DW's Maya Shwayder from Washington

blc/rt   (AFP, dpa, Reuters, AP)

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