The tourist killed when a man drove into a crowd in New York City's Times Square was identified as a MI teenager on vacation. She was visiting the city from her hometown in MI with her family, and was out exploring with her 13-year-old sister when her life was taken far too soon.
An 18-year-old woman was killed and 22 other victims were injured, including the woman's 13-year-old sister, officials said.
Rojas was arrested and will be tested for drugs and alcohol, police said.
During this time, he had told police he was being harassed and followed.
"I told her to have fun and take lots of pictures and she said "I will, I love you" and I got Snapchats from her when she was in NY". "When it hit, he went into the divider things they have here to try to keep us from the traffic". However, investigators quickly turned their focus to the sobriety and mental health of the driver, identified as Bronx resident Rojas.
"There were a lot of people out, enjoying the good day, and then I heard screaming and the auto running over bodies", she said.
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Rojas spent his final months in the Navy at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, before being discharged in 2014 as the result of a special court martial, a Navy official said.
"I saw the vehicle coming in fast, no brake, no nothing", said Alpha Balde, a 57-year-old who, as an employee for Gray Line, was touting sightseeing bus tours near the scene.
The incident is being investigated as an accident, a NY police official said.
The vehicle collided with a metal pole and came to a stop at 45 Street and Broadway, police said.
A Portage teen is dead and her 13 year old sister injured after a Navy veteran high on drugs drove his auto for three and a half blocks on packed Times Square sidewalks Thursday afternoon.
"I wasn't even all the way in when the auto sped by", perhaps 10 feet behind her, said Long, a 54-year-old who was in town to see a musical. He pleaded guilty to harassment, a violation, and was not sentenced to any prison time.
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The crash occurred near the headquarters of the Reuters news agency, 3 Times Square.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and de Blasio rushed to the scene. Details were not immediately available.
Rojas had been arrested at least four times before for offenses including drunk driving and threatening someone with a knife, according to police officials and public records.
Times Square is a highly popular destination for Australian tourists. At first, I thought someone was intentional doing it.
President Donald Trump has been made aware of the situation and will continue to receive updates, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
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