A 26-year old man who appeared under the influence drove his car the wrong way up a Times Square street and ploughed into pedestrians on the foopath, killing one and injuring about 20 others. The driver has been taken into custody and is being tested for alcohol.
The vehicle speed through the tourist area and came to rest with two of its wheels in the air. The car crashed on a lamp post and steel bollards intended to block vehicles from getting onto the sidewalk.
“He’s just mowing down people,” said Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a store when he heard screaming. “He didn’t stop. He just kept going,” he said.
The crash happened at midday on a hot, clear day that brought large crowds of people into the streets to enjoy the good weather. Video posted online showed steam or smoke pouring from the car for a few moments after it stopped moving.
After the car crashed, the driver climbed out of the car, Lowe said.
“He just started running until people tackled him down,” Lowe said.
The man has a history of driving while intoxicated, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
Police do not suspect a link to terrorism, but the bomb squad was called as a precaution to check the vehicle.
People rushed to help the injured, who were lying on the footpath.
The footpaths in many parts of Times Square and surrounding blocks are lined with metal posts designed to prevent cars from getting onto the footpaths and other public areas.
Times Square also has a heavy police presence at all hours of the day and night.