Crash

Screenshot of the moment of the crash in Times Square, via MediaSet

A graphic video has been released showing the moment of impact when a driver struck barricades in Times Square on Thursday, and the aftermath as he was arrested.

The driver, believed to be intoxicated, hurt upward of 20 people and killed a teenager, according to reports.  

Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old Navy veteran, was taken into custody and was undergoing tests for alcohol and drugs, Police Commissioner James O'Neill said. Rojas had been arrested at least twice previously for driving while intoxicated, once in 2008 and once in 2015, police said. 

The video below (warning, graphic content) shows the scene as Rojas' vehicle struck barricades and went airborne. The video also shows his arrest after he was removed from the vehicle as onlookers curse at him. 

Can't see the video below? Click here. 

 

Pandemonium erupted when the vehicle barreled through the prime tourist location and came to rest with two of its wheels in the air. The car leaned on a lamppost and steel barriers 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."

The crash happened 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 struck a barricade and stopped, the driver climbed out of his vehicle, Lowe said.

"He just started running until people tackled him down," Lowe said. "Citizens just reacted."

The crash killed an 18-year-old woman and the injured included her 13-year-old sister, police said.

Police do not suspect a link to terrorism, but the vehicle was checked by the bomb squad and certain city landmarks were getting a beefed up police presence.

"Out of an abundance of caution," Mayor Bill de Blasio added.

Police said Rojas made a quick U-turn onto 42nd Street and then drove up the sidewalk for three blocks, passing tourist draws like the Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant and mowing people down before slamming into a pole. He was combative with officers who handcuffed him, authorities said.