The auto leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers meant to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.
"People scattered, running back this way, and then everyone was like just falling; a little like somebody got ran over; somebody got hit", said witness Max Padillo. "He didn't stop. He just kept going", he said. It was not immediately clear whether Rojas had a defense lawyer.
The victim who was killed on Thursday after a vehicle jumped a curb in Times Square and plowed into a group of pedestrians has been identified.
The maroon Honda Accord driven by Richard Rojas propped up on the metal stanchions it collided with.
The crash killed an 18-year-old woman, and the injured included her 13-year-old sister, police said.
He added that Rojas has never been the same after coming home from the Navy. He was most recently based at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and was discharged in 2014.
Navy records show he spent two months in a military prison in Charleston, South Carolina, in the summer of 2013, but did not say why. They don't indicate why.
Another police source said investigators ruled out alcohol as a cause of the crash.
Elsman was the sole victim in the crash, which occurred after 26-year-old Richard Rojas drove his vehicle down the sidewalk for three blocks into the heart of New York City's theater district before crashing into a security barrier.
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The vehicle ended up tilted on its left tires at West 45th Street, where street barriers stopped it, O'Neill said. Howard's daughter said. "They mowed everyone down".
Rojas enlisted in the US Navy in 2011 and served on the destroyer USS Carney in 2012. They say he was captured at the scene and arrested.
Friends of a man suspected of plowing his auto into pedestrians in Times Square say he'd been going through a rough time. Twenty-two other people were injured in the incident.
"She was a very good person, a very good person", said her friend Zachary Anderson.
The driver, a 26-year-old Navy veteran named Richard Rojas, was taken into custody and was undergoing tests for alcohol and drugs, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said.
The officials weren't authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. During the last arrest of Roxas was afraid that he was being watched.
While investigators were uncertain late Thursday whether Rojas was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash, an NYPD source shot down early reports he had taken K2, a potent version of synthetic marijuana that can cause irrational behavior.
An 18-year-old tourist was killed and 22 other pedestrians were injured in NY when a motorist drove three blocks on the sidewalks at Times Square shortly before noon Thursday.
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