Driver arrested, one person dead after pedestrians struck in Times Square

At least 23 people have been injured

Driver arrested, one person dead after pedestrians struck in Times Square

Image via @FDNY on Twitter

An 18-year-old woman is dead and four people are in critical condition after a car struck pedestrians in New York's Times Square.

Three others are in serious condition and 15 more are injured following the incident, the city's fire department says.

The 13-year-old sister of the fatally injured woman is one of those hurt.

Police officers and members of the public apprehended the driver.

He has been named by the NYPD as 26-year-old Richard Rojas from the Bronx. They say he drove at "a high rate of speed".

He is said to have performed a u-turn and driven at speed against the flow of traffic toward one of the world's most popular tourist spots.

The car finally hit a metal post, becoming wedged partly on its side, and the suspect jumped out of the vehicle.

As he attempted to flee, police and several members of the public brought him down.

He is a former US Navy serviceman and a US citizen.

In a statement, the NYPD said a 2009 Honda Accord mounted the sidewalk on the west side of 7th Avenue at West 42nd Street in Times Square.

"The vehicle, occupied by a male driver, proceeded to drive at a high rate of speed along the sidewalk from 42nd Street to 45th Street, striking a number of pedestrians along the way.

Image via @FDNY on Twitter

"The Honda eventually came to a stop on the northwest corner of West 45th Street, where it collided with a metal stanchion.

"Along the route, the subject’s vehicle struck 23 pedestrians causing multiple injuries and one fatality."

It says a preliminary investigation reveals that Rojas has two arrests for Driving While Impaired-related incidents.

He is being tested for alcohol and drugs.

"At this point, there is no indication that this incident was terrorism-related", it added.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also gave this update, alongside NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill:

A witness told Reuters news agency they saw seven people being loaded onto stretchers, shoes scattered around the scene and one person covered in a bloodstained blanket.

An injured pedestrian told Reuters the driver's actions appeared to have been "intentional".

Other witnesses said the vehicle drove against traffic and onto the pavement before striking the pedestrians at about midday local time.

The car ended up partly on its side outside the Swatch shop, at the corner of Broadway and W 45th St.

Image via @FDNY on Twitter

The Irish Consulate in New York says it is "aware of the accident in Times Square" and working closely with the authorities.

People seeking consular assistance can call the consulate on +1-212-319-2555, or the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353-1-408-2000.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan says his department is monitoring the situation closely.

He says: "I am aware of the terrible incident in New York this afternoon, which has resulted in a number of casualties.

"My department are monitoring the situation closely through Consulate General New York and the Consular Division in Dublin.

"On behalf of the Irish Government, I wish to express our condolences and solidarity with the people of New York at this time".

 The White House said US President Donald Trump has been "made aware" of what has happened.

Additional reporting: Jack Quann