The man suspected of killing one person and injuring 22 more by driving his car through Times Square in New York has been charged with murder.
Richard Rojas, a 26-year-old New York native, allegedly ploughed his red Honda sedan through the popular tourist destination on a sunny Thursday morning.
The US Navy veteran, who police say was driving under the influence, is accused of making a sharp U-turn on busy 7th Avenue and proceeded three blocks against the flow of traffic.
Witnesses described people running in terror from the speeding vehicle, while others lay injured in the street.
“Bodies were flying, he was running over people, it was like nothing I’d ever seen,” witness Julie Fallo told Gothamist. “Everyone thought it was a terrorist attack and ran into buildings screaming.”
The car eventually came to a halt after Mr Rojas crashed into a pole on 45th street, near Broadway. Witnesses say the car was billowing smoke, and appeared heavily damaged.
In pictures: Times Square car crash
Approximately halfway through his rampage, police say Mr Rojas struck and injured Alyssa and Ava Elsman. The teenage sisters were visiting from Portage, Michigan.
Eighteen-year-old Alyssa died on Thursday from her injuries.
Postings on the teenager’s Facebook page show she had recently started a new relationship. Portage Central High School principal Eric Alburtus described his student as “smart, funny and engaging”.
“She will be deeply missed by the staff and students here,” Mr Alburtus said.
Twenty-one others were injured in the incident, according to the latest NYPD count. NYC Health + Hospitals Bellevue treated four patients in critical condition, and two in serious condition, on Thursday night. All six are expected to survive.
Mr Rojas has been…