Times Square crash victim was 18-year-old Michigan woman

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They don't indicate why.

A former US Navy veteran who appeared intoxicated has driven his vehicle the wrong way up a Times Square and ploughed into pedestrians on the footpath, killing a teenager and injuring 23 other people, authorities and witnesses said.

Twenty three people were struck by the vehicle before it was stopped by a security barrier. The teen was reportedly visiting the city with family when a speeding vehicle came careening in the wrong direction and struck Elsman, her 13-year-old sister and at least 20 others. They said he had been arrested twice for drunken driving in 2008 and 2015, and once earlier this month for menacing. "You stole my identity", Rojas told the man, grabbing his neck in one hand while brandishing the knife in the other, according to a police spokeswoman.

Four people were in critical condition, officials said.

A friend said Rojas was never the same after returned from military service, taking up drinking to cope with stress. At least 22 others were injured.

Witnesses said Richard Rojas appeared to be intoxicated, and he was taken into custody Thursday afternoon.

Other friends say he was having money troubles.

Another witness, who would only identify himself as Andrew, said the driver was "aiming for as many people as he could possibly get". One of them - a teenager - died.

Initial tests reportedly came back negative for alcohol but positive for drugs.

Broadway shows would go ahead as planned on Thursday evening in the many theatres in the area, organizers said in a statement.

One official says Rojas told authorities when arrested previously that he believed he was being followed. It wasn't clear when he would get a lawyer or face formal charges in court.

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A man who drove a vehicle along three blocks of pavement in New York's Times Square, killing a woman and injuring 22 people, said he had "heard voices", according to law enforcement sources.

The driver made it three blocks before slamming into barriers.

"I was just doing something that I hope people would do, because I was trying to do the right thing", he said. "And now that she's gone, I don't know how I'm going to fill that void", he said.

- Uncle Chang (@UncleChangNYC) May 18, 2017Police take 26-year-old Richard Rojas into custody following the deadly Times Square crash.

Video posted online showed steam or smoke pouring from the auto for a few moments after it stopped moving. The bollards are created to stop vehicles going about 30 miles an hour, he said.

"He's just mowing down people".

Officials said Rojas was arrested in 2008 and 2015 for driving under the influence, and in 2016 for menacing in different areas of NY. But an uncle was struck on the head by a pole dislodged by the vehicle, relatives said as they left the hospital where he was being treated.

Terrorism isn't suspected in the crash. Television footage showed police officers restraining a man in a dark T-shirt and placing him in a police auto. "I think he saved my life".

Kelly Graves said she feared the worst, maybe a bomb, as "chaos" erupted and people began running.

"We all feel deeply right now for those who are injured and for their families and [in] particular the family of the young woman who was lost", Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, was made aware of the incident nearly immediately and given updates, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.