Times Square Crash Victim Identified as 18-Year-Old-Michigan Tourist

An 18-year-old tourist from Michigan was the one fatality in a car crash that injured dozens in Times Square on Thursday.

Alyssa Elsman of Portage, Michigan was killed in the midday accident, NBC affiliate WDIV in Detroit reported. 

A man driving a car drove his on a sidewalk in Times Square, injuring at least 22 people and killing one, police say. Checkey Beckford reports.

Her Facebook profile said she had attended the local high school and was a waitress at a fast-food restaurant. 

Police audio from after the Times Square crash captures the panic after a car ran through crowds.

"Alyssa was a really thoughtful, really bright very pleasant young lady that every interaction I had with her was positive," Portage Central High School Principal Eric Alburtus said. "I am, to honest with you, kind of struggling with the whole thing to be honest with you."

A tour bus ticket salesman was just one of the New York bystanders who jumped into action to help after a man drove a car into pedestrians in Times Square Thursday. Chris Glorioso reports.

Elsman was visiting New York with her 13-year-old sister. She was also hit, but survived. 

Sunita Prasee and her family, visiting from Guyana, were marveling at the sights when the car came toward them.

She pushed her children, 3 and 6, out of its path.

"I just pushed the child away, because I don't want him to get hurt," Prasee said.

But an uncle, Thomas Henry, was struck on the head by a pole dislodged by the vehicle, relatives said as they left the hospital where he was being treated.

"I turned around and I saw he was under the car," Prasee said. "I was traumatized, I don't know what to do."

Henry, 72, miraculously walked out of the hospital several hours later. 

"Thank god I'm alive," he said. "I'm a Christian and I am proud."

[NATL-NY] In Pictures: Car Slams into Crowd in Times Square

The driver of the car, Richard Rojas, appeared to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, authorities said. Police and civilians teamed to corral him after he fled the scene when his car crashed into a metal pole at 45th Street and Broadway shortly before noon Thursday.

The suspect in the horrific crash in Times Square was high on drugs and had a history of mental illness, sources said. Jonathan Dienst reports.

He blew a 0.0 when tested for alcohol at the precinct, but drug tests are pending. A law enforcement official told News 4 New York that Rojas was likely under the influence of something ingested via smoking. Law enforcement sources said he has a history of psychiatric problems and that he told police he was hearing voices. 

Police audio from after the Times Square crash captures the panic after a car ran through crowds.

Police charged Rojas with a slew of charges, including second-degree murder, 20 counts of second-degree attempted murder and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, authorities said. 

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