Rabat – An 18-year-old girl was killed and 22 other pedestrians injured when a vehicle careened down a busy thoroughfare in downtown New York City just before noon on Thursday.
At approximately 11:54 a.m. Thursday morning, a vehicle driven by 26-year-old US citizen, Richard Rojas, executed an illegal u-turn, jumping the curb and plowing through pedestrians before slamming into a post. When the mayhem was over, a young woman, 18 years of age, was killed. Her 13-year-old sister is among the other 22 people injured in the incident.
In a press conference which took place approximately ninety minutes after the event, New York Police Commissioner, James O’Neill, confirmed there is no evidence of any link to terrorism. Following the arrest of Rojas at the scene, police discovered he has a history of DUI’s (driving under the influence). He is currently in a testing facility where he is being examined for the presence of drugs and/or alcohol in his system. Rojas is also a former member of the US Navy.
According to witnesses, the vehicle was speeding before the carnage began but police have confirmed the driver was not being pursued by anyone ahead of the incident. An emergency management official described the vehicle as “out of control” before the crash.
With the recent spate of vehicular terrorist attacks in Europe, New York City authorities were very quick to reassure the public that this incident had absolutely no evidence of such an crime.
During his comments at the press conference, NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced with certainty that “there is no indication this was an act of terror.”
Among the 22 injured, seven people sustained serious and/or life-threatening injuries. The remaining 15 victims are being treated for lesser, so-called “green tag,” injuries and are expected to be released from hospital soon and make full recoveries.
This is breaking news and the information is subject to change. The story will be updated as new information becomes available.