Home / News / First picture of teenage girl killed in New York after US Navy veteran ploughed car into Times Square crowds

First picture of teenage girl killed in New York after US Navy veteran ploughed car into Times Square crowds

Alyssa Elsman, from Michigan, in the US, is currently the only fatality of the horrific incident which has injured 22 people

The first picture of an 18-year-old girl who was fatally mowed down by a US Navy veteran in New York’s Times Square has emerged.

The woman, identified as Alyssa Elsman, was walking with her sister in Manhattan when Richard Roja’s vehicle drove the wrong way up the road, mounted the pavement, continued to plough through pedestrians for three blocks and eventually crashed into a post.

Alyssa, from Michigan, in the US, is currently the only fatality of the horrific incident.

Of the 22 people hurt, the NYPD said that four people had been critically injured with open fractures and multiple traumas and three others were seriously injured – all were hospitalised.

Some 15 more were not seriously injured, and were not hospitalised.

The status of Elsman’s 13-year-old sister has not yet been released.

Horrifying footage captured the moment 26-year-old Roja drove his car into huge crowds of people.

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Alyssa (pictured) was walking with her little sister when the car struck (Photo: Facebook)

The car can be seen lifting off the ground as it ploughs into people in Times Square

One person was killed and more than 20 injured during the sickening incident

Pedestrians flee in terror as the car approaches

Richard Rojas was arrested after driving a car through Times Square (Photo: Charles Guerin/Best Image/Vantagenews.com)

The ex-Navy officer can be seen driving into pedestrians with the car lifting off the ground on impact.

People can be heard screaming in terror as the car hits people in the famous square.

The vehicle eventually crashed into a pole or bollard. Witnesses say the alleged driver tried to flee the scene before he was caught by members of the public.

Pictures from the scene show Rojas – wearing jeans and brown t shirt – running across a pedestrian crossing screaming.

One person in a red shirt is on the ground near the vehicle while a terrified woman walks with a little girl just metres from the driver.

A witness stopped the driver from fleeing and with help from another bystander pinned him down and held him for police, a journalist at the scene said.

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Richard Rojas was arrested after driving a car through Times Square (Photo: Charles Guerin/Best Image/Vantagenews.com)

Richard Rojas was chased down by members of the public and NYPD (Photo: Charles Guerin/Best Image/Vantagenews.com)

Richard Rojas was tackled to the ground by officers (Photo: Charles Guerin/Best Image/Vantagenews.com)

Rojas was later seen with his shirt torn after being grabbed by police – with his head pressed against a pole as cuffs were put on him.

Local media said Rojas has two prior arrests for driving while intoxicated, law enforcement officials said.

He also was arrested last year for menacing.

Rojas admitted smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel, law enforcement sources told TMZ.

The maroon sedan which is said to have driven at pedestrians in Times Square, New York City (Photo: @gb__/Twitter)

Authorities have insisted there is no evidence of terrorism.

The suspect being led by police into the back of a vehicle as witnesses claimed he was the driver.

The driver appeared to be drunk or on drugs, the New York Times reported quoting a law enforcement official.

Firefighters attend to the vehicle after the incident (Photo: @marc_palladino/Twitter)

An injured woman lays on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestirans (Photo: REUTERS)

The aftermath of the incident in Times Square (Photo: Rex Features)

The NYPD closed off the area as the FBI moved in to investigate the incident.

The NYPD tweeted: “One male in custody in the Times Square vehicle collision.

“It is believed to be an isolated incident, it remains under investigation.”

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Injured people are seen on the sidewalk in Times Square after a speeding vehicle struck pedestrians on the sidewalk (Photo: REUTERS)

 

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A spokesman for the New York Police Department said that the incident was not thought to be terror-related at this time.

“We don’t have details as of yet,” the spokesman said.

“It looks more like an out of control vehicle – a vehicle that lost control than anything else at this point.”

Asked if it was terror-related he said: “This is very preliminary. We don’t have any details yet but on the information that we’ve got so far it looks more like an out of control vehicle at this time.”

Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them tourists from around the world, pass daily through the bustling commercial area, the heart of the Broadway theatre district.