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

19 May 2017

An arrest report from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Rojas yelled at an officer, "My life is over", and threatened to kill police after his release from jail.

As Rojas ran from his wrecked vehicle, Ken Bradix, a door supervisor at Planet Hollywood, struck him to get him to stop.

He told police he had smoked marijuana laced with PCP, according to a criminal complaint.

A smashed vehicle sits on the corner of Broadway and 45th Street in New York's Times Square after ploughing through a crowd of pedestrians at lunchtime on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

The dead woman was named as 18-year-old Alyssa Elsman from Portage Michigan.

Elsman was in NY with her sisters, mother and a friend, CNN affiliate WOOD reported. In previous arrests, he told authorities he believed he was being harassed and followed, one of the law enforcement officials said.

The suspect had served in the U.S. Navy but was discharged after disciplinary problems, military officials said.

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Court records indicate the charges may have been dropped.

A neighbourhood friend in the Bronx, Harrison Ramos, said Rojas was not the same when he came back from the Navy in 2014. He says Rojas was posting "crazy stuff" online that has since been taken down, according to The Associated Press.

Police said Rojas had been driving south on Seventh Avenue when he made a quick U-turn at 42nd Street and drove up the sidewalk for three blocks, passing tourist draws like the Hard Rock Cafe and the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant.

Rojas' mother brought in for questioning Thursday; she said nothing to reporters as detectives led her to a waiting auto.

The victim has been identified as MI tourist Alyssa Elsman who was visiting NY with her family. She said she's in disbelief.

City authorities were nevertheless deploying extra police from anti-terror units to key locations around America´s most populous city, he said. After his arrest, he told police he was "hearing voices" and expected to die, two law enforcement officials said. They said he has a history of possible psychiatric, drug and alcohol problems, and investigators are looking into whether or not Thursday's crash may have been a deliberate act.

They said Rojas, a former US Navy veteran, has a record of drink-driving and is now being tested for alcohol and drugs.

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In one of his two previous DWI arrests, Rojas was driving faster than 99 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone, sources familiar with his record say. He was most recently arrested last week in the Bronx on a charge of menacing. After the crash Thursday, he allegedly tried to flee cops, then tried to physically fight them, as they brought him into custody.

Elsman's 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

Social media erupted with fear and concern as witnesses described screaming and abject chaos in the Crossroads of the World.

Elizabeth Long, of Dayton, Ohio, was walking to the Hard Rock Cafe when she saw a maroon auto heading toward her on the sidewalk.

The vehicle flipped onto its side, smoke and flames spewing out of the hood as the injured littered the ground.

Police radio captured the urgency of the response.

Helpless pedestrians had little time to react as the auto barreled down the sidewalk and through intersections before smashing into a row of steel security barriers installed in recent years to prevent vehicle attacks on the square where massive crowds gather every New Year's Eve.

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